Carlo Ancelotti: “I think we’re going to get the best of ourselves”

MADRID, Feb. 14 (.) –

The coach of Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti, made it clear that they have “all the confidence in the world” in order to try to eliminate “a difficult rival” like Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 of the Champions League, against to whom he is optimistic that they will get “the best” of his performance, while he also hopes to be able to count on Karim Benzema who “if he is good he should play”.

“The feelings are good and we have all the confidence in the world. It’s a difficult game against a difficult opponent who has the aspiration to win the Champions League like us. This game could be a final and no one would be surprised, we want to eliminate a rival that can compete to win the Champions League,” Ancelotti said at a press conference on Monday.

The Italian believes that the two teams “have the pressure of facing a great rival” and that his team should not “think too much about what is ahead”. “You have to prepare well for the match and then endure and handle the pressure, this match is a great motivation, not an obsession,” he said.

“We are going to play against a spectacular team in a great stadium and we only have to think about getting the best out of ourselves, and I think we are going to do it. These are matches that are not that complicated to prepare for. The coach must prepare a good plan, but both teams are quite recognizable and I think that is not complicated either.
Our game must be complete and I don’t think anything special will happen, they are a touch and possession team, with danger on the counterattack, and Real Madrid too, we are a bit similar”, added the Reggiolo player.

Ancelotti referred to the presence of Karim Benzema, a decision in which “the last word” will rest with both the player and the doctors, as well as himself, who will be the “last”. “I have to listen and make the decision. The important thing is that he has a medical discharge because he has already trained running and sprinting without problems, and then there are his feelings. I have to think that he hasn’t played for almost a month, but he is Karim and not a new one that has to adapt, if it’s good it’s clear that it has to play”, he underlined.


In the event that he could not do it, the option could be Gareth Bale, who scored at a good level last Saturday against Villarreal. “His contract is coming to an end and in the past he didn’t have much motivation. Now he’s fine and he wants to finish here as he deserves because he’s helped this club win Champions or Copas del Rey. For him, finishing well here would be good for his career “, he warned.

“I speak with Gareth as with everyone, in search of getting the best out of it, knowing the problems they have. My personal relationship with him and the rest is good. He is serious, professional and respects the rules, he always has, but he has had injuries that they have not allowed him to show himself,” he added of the Welshman.

On the other hand, the Madrid coach considers that “everyone who plays will be focused because the stage is the best and to help eliminate a rival who can compete to win the ‘Champions'”. “What Mbappé thinks is what Benzema, Vinicius or Messi think,” he remarked.

Nor does he plan to “change” his system from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 due to the presence of Di María on one side, although he does not rule out “putting a midfielder to play outside” and praised his compatriot Marco Verratti, “a great player”. “He has improved and has a lot of experience, but we don’t have to obsess over stopping them because we would lose our minds, it’s better to think about what we are going to do,” he said.

Finally, Ancelotti confessed that he has “excellent memories” of his time at a “magnificent team” like PSG, where now Mauricio Pochettino “is doing an excellent job.” “It is not easy to coach such an important club, where there is a lot of pressure,” he pointed out. “Training isn’t difficult for me, it’s a pleasure to do it both at PSG and at Real Madrid, the bigger the club, the more I enjoy it,” he said.

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