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Ancelotti reflects on Real Madrid’s Champions League triumph: “Fight until the last minute”



Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking at the inauguration of the 2022/23 academic year of the Real Madrid Graduate School Universidad Europea, Carlo Ancelotti has claimed that the camaraderie in the dressing room and fighting spirit were key to the club’s UEFA Champions League triumph last season.

Real Madrid won their 14th European crown in the 2021/22 campaign and they did so from the unlikeliest of circumstances, producing one stunning comeback after another in each of the knockout rounds as they took out teams like PSG, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool to lift the trophy.

Reflecting on the Champions League success, Ancelotti said: “It was something incredible. The key was the fantastic connection the players created in the locker room, between the youngsters and the veterans. This allowed us to win games that seemed lost, not give up and fight until the last minute.”

Talking about the comeback against Manchester City, in particular, the Real Madrid head coach recalled: “In the tie against Manchester City, when I saw six minutes of extra time, I thought we could score another one. Rodrygo’s first goal changed the mental dynamics of everyone and we did it.”

It was Real Madrid’s second Champions League triumph under Ancelotti, after he had led the club to La Decima in 2014. Reminiscing the success during his first stint as manager of the club, the Italian said:

“Since 2014 this team has won five Champions Leagues, it is a great success. When I arrived, everyone was talking about being obsessed with La Décima, but the reality is that it was a great motivation for everyone, not an obsession.”

Highlighting the importance of sport in life, Ancelotti added: “Sport helps people to be more responsible in life, it has been a fantastic life school for me and for everyone, because it helps you fight against your limit. Every day you can improve something physically and mentally.”

Ancelotti also revealed how it feels to be the manager of Real Madrid, saying: “I feel Real Madrid is a family. This is the best-organised club in the world, with the most success and the most history. It is the biggest club and coaching here is like a dream.”

Source: Real Madrid official website

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Real Madrid News

Rival watch: Barcelona midfielder essentially ruled out of Real Madrid clash



Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

In what could be a real deal breaker for Real Madrid ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg clash against Barcelona, it has been revealed that as many as three Barça will be absent from the game while another key player remains a major doubt.

The list includes the likes of Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Andreas Christensen. The trio is certain to miss the game through respective injuries while a certain Frenkie de Jong is more or less ruled out, as per Javi Miguel.

It must be remembered that Barcelona are heading into the second leg with a 1-0 advantage. But the absence of the aforementioned players means Madrid can work on exploiting the frailties.

Despite the absence of such big names, Barcelona did pretty well against Elche in their previous outing, coming out 4-0 victorious, with the goals coming from Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres.

With options lacking in midfield, Xavi decided to use the likes of Sergi Roberto and Eric Garcia along with Gavi in the heart of the lineup. In any way, they do have Sergio Busquets and Franck Kessie as backups if needed.

The defence, on the other hand, was perfectly guarded by Jordi Alba, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde.

One can expect Xavi to once again interchange Araujo with Kounde on the right since the Uruguayan has been rather successful in minimizing the threat of Vinicius Jr.

As far as Madrid are concerned, they are sweating over the fitness of three key defenders, namely, Antonio Rudiger, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy. Between these three, the Frenchman is out for about a month while Rudiger and Nacho are expected to be back before the Clasico.

If there are no casualties against Real Valladolid, Madrid will have a perfect midfield and attack, with only Mariano Diaz missing. 

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