Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti confessed Karim Benzema and Pepe are not fit to play the Champions League final, although he admitted a decision hasn’t been made yet on whether they will feature against Atletico Madrid or not.
“They’re the two players we have doubts about. I’m a realist and as of today they can’t play. There are four days left and we’ll make our final decision. If Pepe can’t play, Varane can take his place. As for Benzema, we can understand that the player isn’t at 100%, but if he has injury problems, it’s better if he doesn’t play. If we don’t think he’s risking an injury he’ll play,” Ancelotti explained.
On the other hand, both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale will be part of the starting eleven: “They will play. Bale had a minor problem in the pre-season, but he has shown his quality and he’s in good shape. He’s very important for the team and he’s excited to be playing in his first European Cup final. He’ll have a great match,” he added.
Another doubt for Ancelotti is Xabi Alonso’s replacement. The Spaniard will miss the match through suspension and the main candidates to take his role are Asier Illarramendi and Sami Khedira.
“Illarra looks good, relaxed and confident. I can confirm that he’s available for Saturday. As is Khedira. He has done a fantastic job, with great professionalism. He hasn’t played in many matches and that’s the only problem he has,” Ancelotti said in press conference.
The Italian believes that having Zinedine Zidane with them will help them win the final: “It’s good to think that he scored in Glasgow and that he can bring his positive energy to the team. His charisma and knowledge of how to prepare for matches like this can help the players.”