Real Madrid News
Guardiola hails Real Madrid superstar ahead of UCL semi-final: “He sinks you every time”
Pep Guardiola is one of the few managers in the world with whom Carlo Ancelotti has a negative record. The two tacticians have locked horns eight times over the years, but it is the Manchester City boss who edges out the Real Madrid head coach with five wins.
The head-to-head record between Real Madrid and Manchester City, however, is different. The two European giants share the spoils with four wins apiece out of their ten clashes since 2012.
Guardiola’s men face the defending European Champions on Tuesday night at Santiago Bernabeu in a repeat of last season’s semifinal. This time around, the odds appear far more even than ever before.
The Man City manager spoke to the press ahead of the semifinal tie and here are the snippets from his interaction.
The former Barcelona manager’s interview began with the immortal question surrounding the favourites on the night. Guardiola accepted that his side entered the game with a slight edge but reasoned out the claim.
“If we’re favorites against Real Madrid, it’s because we’re a very good team.”
Last season, the same teams met at the same stage of the same competition. It was Real Madrid who advanced on that occasion but the Premier League coach insisted that things were different this time around.
“We were prepared last year too. We’re the same managers, mainly the same players, but completely different games. The difference is the second leg is at home.”
Revenge has been a constant theme when referring to the tie between the two European giants. After all, Real Madrid stole level in the final seconds of the game to force extra time and eliminate the English champions last season. On that topic, Guardiola said,
“We arrived here last season with encouragement to get to the final. We played really good in both games. But what happened happened. We are here one year later. We are not here for revenge. This is completely different to last season.“
The Man City boss, however, did not hold back in his praise for Ancelotti’s men and had big words when asked about the opposition his team faced in the final four.
“To win this competition you have to beat the best teams and [Real Madrid] have been the best in the last seven, eight years. You have to perform.“
Finally, Guardiola spoke a short note on Vinicius Jr and the Brazilian’s ability to turn the game around with his magical feet.
“Vinicius Jr sinks you every time, Madrid can get the ball to him. He is decisive, but the team has much more.”
Source: Manchester City official website
Real Madrid News
Brazil not giving up on pursuit of Ancelotti: “Haven’t thrown in the towel yet”
Speaking to the media, Brazil Football Confederations (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues has claimed that the Selecao have not given up on their pursuit of Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, despite the Italian stating that he will not leave the club.
Brazil have been without a manager since the World Cup in Qatar last year, following which Tite stepped down. The CBF have made Ancelotti their top target and have been pursuing his signing for months but to no avail.
The 63-year-old Italian tactician has, on more than one occasion, made it clear that he will be at Real Madrid next season, with his contract expiring in 2024.
However, CBF president Rodrigues is adamant that Ancelotti’s statements are due to him being cautious as he is under contract at Real Madrid and that the Selecao are not prepared to give up on their quest to appoint him as of yet.
“We made a plan, that ‘Plan A’ is the one you know, Ancelotti, and as they say in the ‘ring’ (boxing), I haven’t thrown in the towel yet,” Rodrigues said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
“Because of contracts, people are cautious,” he added.
Ancelotti, for his part, has repeatedly stated that he does not intend to leave Real Madrid unless he is forced out of the club.
Despite missing out on the La Liga and the UEFA Champions League titles last season, the club continue to back the veteran Italian and are planning for next season with him in charge.
So, despite Rodrigues’ confidence and perseverance, it is extremely unlikely that Ancelotti will be leaving Real Madrid for Brazil this summer.