Carlo Ancelotti left impressed by Real Madrid’s “perfect game”

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Whereas Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s 91st minute goal looks like a blemish on Real Madrid’s otherwise flawless day in Gelsenkirchen, Carlo Ancelotti is having none it. Speaking to the media after his team’s crushing 6-1 victory over Schalke in UEFA Champions League, the Real Madrid coach hailed los Blancos’ perfection in their Round of 16’s opening leg.

“I’m satisfied with everything because that was the perfect game,” Ancelotti said. “My players played with togetherness and they played well. Everything came off for us. The [front three] all scored and were great but they also had help from their teammates. Our attacking trio are very dangerous.”

(MORE: Real Madrid sends Champions League message with 6-1 demolition of Schalke)

After Wednesday’s rout, dangerous became euphemistic. Ancelotti’s attacking trio of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo were nearly unstoppable, with only a series of late first half saves from Schalke’s Ralf Fährmann preventing what could have been a record-setting result.

Content with a more modest result, Ancelotti was left Ancelotti reaching for coaching clichés to try to preserve the matchup’s drama, with the former Champions League-winning coach appealing to his team’s professionalism ahead of the return leg in Madrid.

“We must have respect for our opponents and their fans,” Ancelotti explained. “There is a return leg to come and football can be strange. The advantage is a big one but we still have to play the second match.”

(MORE: What we learned from Real Madrid’s five-goal, Champions League rout of Schalke)

That match will take place March 18 at the Santiago Bernabéu. In the interim, Spain’s leaders have their fourth derby of the season against crosstown rivals Atlético, with the two teams meeting this weekend at the Vicente Calderón.

“I hope to repeat tonight’s performance in the derby on Sunday,” Ancelotti said. “There might be changes to the side for that game but it’s hard to change things when you play like we did tonight.”

WATCH: Spain’s Saul smashes a shot past Italy’s Donnarumma

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Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.

Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.

Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.

Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.

Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.

Men in Blazers podcast: Transfer window, USMNT at Gold Cup, RBNY-NYCFC

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Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.

Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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Agent Jorge Mendes appears before judge in Falcao tax probe

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MADRID (AP) Football agent Jorge Mendes has told a Spanish judge that he had no involvement in the financial planning of client Radamel Falcao, who has been accused by a state prosecutor of tax fraud.

Mendes, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, appeared before a judge in a Madrid court for 45 minutes on Tuesday as part of the probe into whether there are grounds for the case against Falcao to go to trial.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Mendes’ agency, Gestifute, released a statement saying that “neither he nor his employees have ever intervened in the creation of corporate structures for his clients and much less provided any tax advice to them.”

Last month, a state prosecutor accused Falcao of defrauding Spain’s Tax Office of around $6 million from 2012-13. The alleged unpaid taxes were from money the Colombian player made from endorsement deals through image rights, not from the salary he was then being paid from club Atletico Madrid. Falcao now plays for Monaco.

Arfield, Adekugbe on Canada’s Gold Cup roster

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Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield and on-loan Brighton defender Samuel Adekugbe are among the players who will represent Canada in this summer’s Gold Cup.

Arfield, 28, was born in Scotland and earned the first of seven Canada caps in 2016, and Adekugbe returns to Vancouver from a year-long loan to Brighton and Hove Albion on June 30.

The pair join nine MLS players, two NASL player, and a USL player, with the rest of the group based outside North America.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Notably, Orlando City players Will Johnson and Cyle Larin were not called up by coach Octavio Zambrano.

Goalkeepers: Maxime Crepeau (Montreal), Milan Borjan (MKS Korona Kielce), Jayson Leutwiler (Shrewsbury Town)

Defenders: Samuel Adekugbe (Brighton and Hove Albion), Fraser Aird, Manjrekar James (Vasas Budapest), Dejan Jakovic (New York Cosmos), Adam Straith (FC Edmonton), Steven Vitoria (Lechia Gdansk), Marcel de Jong (Vancouver Whitecaps)

Midfielders: Scott Arfield (Burnley), Patrice Bernier (Montreal), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver), Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Louisville City FC), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Montreal), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto), Michael Petrasso (QPR), Samuel Piette (CD Izarra), Russell Teibert (Vancouver)

Forwards: Lucas Cavallini (CA Penarol), Tosaint Ricketts (Toronto)