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Guardiola makes high claim about Real Madrid’s Champions League credentials

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Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Pep Guardiola addressed the media ahead of Manchester City’s second-leg Champions League tie against RB Leipzig.

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, a defeat for Man City this midweek could seal their exit from the competition, which in turn, could lead to further scrutiny on coach Guardiola. The former Catalan coach is yet to win the Champions League since leaving Barcelona.

When asked whether winning the UCL will define his success at Manchester City, Guardiola made an odd reference to Real Madrid, suggesting that he did not anticipate Man City fans to expect him to guide the team to a Champions League crown.

“In my first game here [Man City] I was asked ‘are you here to win the UCL?’ then I said ‘What?’ If I was the manager of Real Madrid, which is not gonna happen, I would’ve understood. But here? I don’t know,” Guardiola said (h/t Manchester Evening News).

The Catalans’ reference to Real Madrid is hardly surprising as Real Madrid have indeed dominated the competition in recent years. Over the past nine completed seasons in Europe, Real Madrid have won the coveted competition five times – taking their overall tally to 14.

Even the under-fire Carlo Ancelotti is likely to be judged on the basis of Real Madrid’s performance in the Champions League this season, even though the club have heavily underperformed in La Liga this term.

Guardiola, though, said winning the Champions League is the motivation for most teams and Man City are no different this year. That s why we’re here. I didn’t know any team or manager that didn’t try to win a competition. Everyone wants to win it. Not an exception,” he said.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti devises plan to prepare Real Madrid defensive ace for Bayern Munich clash

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Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Eder Militao has charted a remarkable recovery to return from an ACL injury he suffered on the first day of the 2023/24 season.

The Brazilian international came back to action in late March, featuring for a couple of minutes against Athletic Club – the very team against whom he had sustained the injury.

Following that, the centre-back has also featured sparingly in games against Mallorca and Manchester City, although he is yet to start a game.

Ancelotti has plan for Militao

Now, AS reports that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has devised a plan for Militao to be ready to go when the team face Bayern Munich later this month in the UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg.

Militao is expected to play an important role in the Champions League semi-finals. The coaching staff is counting on him to reinforce the team’s defensive capabilities.

The first phase of his reintegration into the dynamics of the competition, which was more psychological than physical, has already been completed.

Ancelotti has a plan for Militao. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Ancelotti, who has now drawn up a special plan to give him minutes in order to get him ready (physically) for the semi-finals.

First Militao will be used in the Clásico today, depending on how the game goes. Then against Real Sociedad next week, on this occasion, the Brazilian could even likely be a starter.

At centre-back or right-back

Militao will have options to play against Bayern Munich in the centre of defence, alongside Antonio Rudiger, but also at right-back, as Dani Carvajal will miss the game because he picked up his third yellow card of the season at the Etihad.

It will all depend on how the Brazilian performs in the two remaining games against Barça and Real Sociedad before the UCL semi-final first leg on 30 April.

For the second leg, on 8 May, at the Bernabeu, Militao will compete on equal terms with the rest of the back four. There will be one more game between the two contests, against Cadiz, for him to get minutes. That’s what Ancelotti is counting on with the Brazilian.

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