Kylian Mbappe receives unwelcome message from Ancelotti during Champions League final

Kylian Mbappe receives unwelcome message from Ancelotti during Champions League final

Robin Bairner
Carlo Ancelotti talks to his Real Madrid players ahead of the Champions League final

Real Madrid began their quest for a record 15th Champions League title by giving fans a glimpse of what they can expect from the future, with Carlo Ancelotti dropping a not-so-subtle hint about how Kylian Mbappe will play next season.

An already formidable team should be strengthened by the arrival of Mbappe from PSG on a free transfer.

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Although the deal has not yet been made official, it is expected to close early next week.

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There has been a lot of speculation about how Mbappe might fit into this Real Madrid team.

With Vinicius Junior cooking on the left, producing a campaign worthy of winning the Ballon d’Or, Mbappe could be denied his privileged role when he moves to the Bernabeu – at least initially.

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Kylian Mbappé at the Monaco Grand Prix
© IMAGO – Kylian Mbappé at the Monaco Grand Prix

Mbappé in the middle

Ancelotti’s starting XI for the Champions League final certainly suggests it will be that way for the World Cup winner.

Real Madrid started the match without a recognized center forward. Instead, it was Jude Bellingham listed in the role, with Vini Jr taking his usual place on the left and Rodygo on the right.

Of course, all three players won’t be needed in this system next season.

Bellingham will be the sacrificed player from the forward line, with the England international set to move into a deeper midfield position. It’s one he played at Borussia Dortmund, although Ancelotti will be keen to somehow retain the attacking impact he has had this season from a more secluded area.

Mbappé, meanwhile, is the logical choice to rank No. 9 without shaking things up too much.

He will be the most experienced option in this area apart from Joselu, who will be signed permanently as a backup.

So, will Real Madrid one day be able to see Mbappé in his best role? Inevitably, they will. Vini Jr won’t be able to play every week, but if the PSG star wants to operate there consistently, he will need to take these opportunities to force his way through.