Ancelotti: I wouldn’t punish Pique

Carlo Ancelotti says he would not have punished Gerard Pique for his alleged use of a mobile phone on the Barcelona bench.

The Real Madrid boss, speaking on Onda Cero’s ‘Al Primer Toque’ programme, was invited to give his views on Pique’s continued absence from the Barcelona team under Luis Enrique.

“I wouldn’t punish a player for using his mobile phone on the bench. I believe in discipline but there are things I don’t think should be resolved with punishment, but with talking, explaining…

“Players are intelligent people and I don’t think Pique has been left out because of that,” said the Italian.

Ancelotti also spoke about the superb form Toni Kroos is showing in the Madrid midfield this season.

“Kroos is another ‘professor’ [Ancelotti’s nickname for Xabi Alonso] and he has learned at the University of Xabi Alonso very quickly.

“He’s surprised me because he never gets worried, whether there is pressure or not, and he plays the same way even when there is an opponent close to him.

“He’s very important because much of our play goes through him, despite the fact he is very young.

“I don’t know where he is best, maybe in the position I’ve asked him to play, and he can always improve, but he plays at pace, picks the right pass, doesn’t lose the ball and wins back possession,” explained Ancelotti, who went on to speak of James Rodriguez’s continued comparisons with the departed Angel Di Maria.

“People should think twice about saying James can fill Di Maria’s boots, because they are completely different players.

“Di Maria could settle games with the energy he has, yet he used to lose control at times and misplace important passes.”

Tags Ancelotti Di Maria James Rodriguez Kroos Pique