Carlo Ancelotti names best defensive left-back in the world

  • Real Madrid manager claims his side have the best defensive player on their books
  • Ferland Mendy's place in the side rumoured to be under threat amid interest in Alphonso Davies
  • Ancelotti speaking ahead of Supercopa de Espana final against rivals Barcelona
Carlo Ancelotti has full faith in one of his own Real Madrid players
Carlo Ancelotti has full faith in one of his own Real Madrid players / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

Carlo Ancelotti says there's no left-back in the world better at defending than Real Madrid's Ferland Mendy.

The Italian was speaking in the aftermath of the 5-3 win over rivals Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the Supercopa de Espana - being held in Saudi Arabia.

Mendy affected that particular game with Madrid's second goal, joining fellow defenders Antonio Rudiger and Dani Carvajal on the scoresheet, and Joselu and Brahim Diaz eventually saw Los Blancos over the line, ending the resistance of Atleti after they had taken a 3-2 lead with just 12 minutes of the match remaining.

"He is the best left-back in the world at a defensive level. He can improve at the top and sometimes he appears like the game against Atlético," Ancelotti mused to journalists ahead of the final against Barcelona, amid continued speculation that Madrid want to sign Alphonso Davies from Bayern Munich.

90min revealed in November that Bayern are fearful of an official approach from Madrid for Davies, with recent reports suggesting that the 14-time Champions League winners have asked the Canadian not to sign a new contract in Bavaria.

Davies' potential arrival would cast doubt over the long-term future of Mendy, who arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu from Lyon in a deal worth €53m in 2019, given his ongoing struggles with injury.

Alphonso Davies
Alphonso Davies is in Real Madrid's crosshairs / Sebastian Widmann/GettyImages

Mendy has made close to 150 appearances in all competitions during his four-and-a-half-year tenure but has never played more than 26 games in a single La Liga season. The 28-year-old only played in 18 games during 2022/23 - his worst return in the Spanish capital - and missed the final four months of the season through injury.

The Frenchman missed the beginning of this season too, but has been a prominent figure since returning to action against Atletico in mid-September.

Ancelotti has welcomed Mendy's return with open arms, with long-term injuries to Eder Militao and David Alaba seriously depleting the options at Madrid's disposal. But despite missing that key duo, as well as Thibaut Courtois in goal because of an ACL tear, arguably the world's most famous club top La Liga after winning 15 of their first 19 games.

They are being matched stride for stride by surprise package Girona - they too have won 15 of their first 19 games, losing just once - yet have their noses in front because of a superior goal difference. Holders Barcelona are third, struggling by their own high standards, seven points off the pace.