Ancelotti retracts Blatter criticism

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti retracted his criticism of FIFA president Sepp Blatter, blaming misinterpretation of a question.

Prior to Real's Copa del Rey round-of-32 first leg with Cornella - which they won 4-1 on Wednesday - Ancelotti slammed Blatter for supposedly claiming Manuel Neuer deserved the Ballon d'Or ahead of favourite Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ancelotti claimed it was "impossible" to shut Blatter's mouth and his comments made "no sense" - but the Italian was forced to backtrack after it was clarified the governing body's president was referring to the World Cup's golden ball, not the Ballon d'Or.

"I want to clarify what I said, because maybe the question wasn't put to me so clearly. I was asked what I thought of him saying the 'golden ball' should have gone to Neuer," Ancelotti said following their first-leg cup success.

"Obviously Blatter didn't say that about the 'Ballon d'Or' award, it was about the 'golden ball' at the World Cup, just so we're clear and for me to rectify what was said."

On their cup fixture, which saw Raphael Varane strike a brace followed by goals to Javier Hernandez and Marcelo, Ancelotti said he was pleased with his side's attitude up against third-tier opposition.

"The team took the game seriously, we did well and ended up imposing ourselves on them, so I'm happy," Ancelotti said. 

"For the hard work they did, Cornella deserved to score, so it's a fair result."

Ancelotti waved away fears of an injury to Colombian starlet James Rodriguez, who was substituted prior to the hour mark, while he insisted Karim Benzema - taken off 14 minutes from time - was also fit.

"There weren't any problems [with Rodriguez], we'd planned to play him for an hour and then make a change. He had a solid game," Ancelotti said.

On Benzema starting, he added: "He's fine physically, hasn't had any problems recovering and he hasn't needed a rest. 

"I think the whole squad was fine. [Asier] Illarramendi and [Sami] Khedira also showed that they're in good shape, so I'm very happy about that."