Ancelotti: “It’s very difficult, but we have an incredible opportunity to play another final”

The Italian coach confirmed that Alaba will not play and Nacho will be his replacement against the English


The coach of Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti, admitted on Tuesday that it is “very difficult” to come back against Manchester City in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal, although they are facing an “incredible opportunity” to play another European final, which they will not arrive “only with the heart and the push of the Santiago Bernabéu”.

“I don’t think history is going to influence this Wednesday, each match has its story. They have an advantage, we have to do our best. It’s very difficult, but we have an incredible opportunity to play a final after winning the League. The atmosphere is very good and we can do it,” Ancelotti said at the press conference prior to the match against City on Wednesday (9:00 p.m.).

The Italian sees his team “motivated” and “concentrated” before the “important challenge” of coming back from 4-3 in the first leg at the Etihad. “There is a good atmosphere, we know the difficulty but we are very confident. The tie is open, we have a small disadvantage that we want to fix tomorrow”, he pointed out.

“Two teams that have great quality are going to face each other. If you reach a final or win a Champions League, you don’t win only by heart. Personality is important, because it allows you to show your quality. There are many aspects: heart, collective commitment , individual quality… Only part of this doesn’t allow you to be successful in the Champions League, such an important and difficult competition. Winning tomorrow cannot be achieved only with the heart and drive of the Bernabéu,” Ancelotti analyzed, when asked by the white arguments to be in the final in Paris.


The Italian, who last Saturday became the first coach to win the five major leagues, explained that they will have to play a “complete” game and improve in the low block and pressure. “We are not going to propose a low bloc party,” he insisted, aware that they will have to “risk.”

“If we put the block low we are not going to concede 99 shots. Sometimes you have to take risks, and we have, we have scored a lot in the qualifiers. We have the quality to take risks,” he said.

And Casemiro’s return to eleven after overcoming his physical problems “will reinforce” that resentful defensive aspect in recent weeks. “The collective commitment is very important to move better, to be more compact. We have worked on it and I think we will see improvement,” predicted Ancelotti, who announced that Alaba will not be available and it will be Nacho who will take his place, with Militao as a pair of central defenders.

“The way of defending doesn’t change, defensive work is a collective effort. Alaba is an important piece, but Nacho has done very well, he has experience, tomorrow he will do well,” the Italian wished, predicting a “long game” before the English. “That’s why it’s not so important who will start the match but who will finish it,” he added.

On the other hand, Ancelotti highlighted the offensive task of his squad this season, with a “more mature” Vinicius who “has improved finishing”. “He is much colder, calmer, he takes his time to make the fairest decision,” he explained. “I have given him the confidence to put him in, he is one of the players who has played the most. Perhaps the confidence I have given him has allowed him to be more mature in making decisions,” he stressed about the young Brazilian.

Finally, the coach again valued Benzema’s “leadership”, while pointing out that the squad sees Luka Modric as “an exceptional professional”, with “tremendous physical, technical and tactical quality”. Also, asked about Foden, he praised his “talent”. “He is a fantastic player, very young, he is very fast, very intelligent and dangerous,” he said.


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