Ancelotti: "I'm very confident about my team, it's focussed and in Champions League mode"

"We're convinced that we're going to have to dig deep, fight and battle as we do in every final", said the coach

Ancelotti: "I'm very confident about my team, it's focussed and in Champions League mode"
NEWS.Rodrigo Salamanca

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media at the Open Media Day at Real Madrid City ahead of the Champions League final: "We are very excited, despite how demanding a final is. We want to get the week off to a good start, training, relaxed and confident. It's a week we want to enjoy taking into account how difficult our opponents are. To reach a final is an achievement for the season and we have the feeling that we've done well. We'll enjoy this right up until the day of the final, confident and we'll be at our best’.
‘We're not thinking about being the favourites. We're focused on playing against an opponent that has earned the right to reach the final after knocking out top quality teams like PSG and Atletico. Borussia are a side with quality, commitment and attitude. We're convinced that we're going to have to dig deep, fight and battle as we do in every final".
Pre-match preview
"The build-up to these matches is always the same. We're happy to be the centre of attention once again in the most important match of the season. We're excited to be there and to be involved in this. It's my ninth final if you take into account the three as a player and the sixth as a coach. The week is going to be the same as always, I'm looking forward to it and I'm happy to be here. The fear will come, but before it does I want to enjoy it and I'm going to do it".
The president in the run-up to a Champions League final
"The president is always very calm before this type of event, he has a lot of confidence and he always shows his warmth for us. He's very happy and it's nice to spend time with him before the games".
Confidence in his players
"The cold sweat will be there on Saturday afternoon, I'm ready for that and it's normal. It comes in every game and I'm experienced. I'm very confident and excited about my team because I can see them in Champions League mode".
Dortmund's characteristics
"Their attitude, commitment and the quality they have up front are what make them stand out. They've got quality players, they're young, experienced and quick in transitions. What really stands out for me is their attitude and the fight to reach the final, as they showed in both games against PSG. The fight and desire is what worries me the most".
Preparing for the final
"We've got a week to prepare for the game and we'll do it well. We'll focus on defensive and attacking aspects. We must have a clear idea of what we need to do and that's the most important thing. I've always done it and I will do it this week too. I will give clear information to my players to give them a clear idea of what to do. It's the best way to remove any stress. When you know what you have to do, you're focused and you don't think about other things that cause stress".
Putting the icing on the cake of the season
"I have my routine and I'm going to stick to it. I don't do anything special. I'm superstitious because I've been taught that it's bad luck to not be superstitious. We'll enjoy it because we're aware that we've done some good things during the season and we want to put the icing on the cake by winning".
Efficiency in the Champions League
"It's difficult and simple to answer this question, why is it unique in this type of competition? The club has created its history in this competition. The history of Real Madrid began in the 50s. It's something special for the club, for all the madridistas and for us, who are also madridistas, it's a competition where we're more focused".
Veterans and youngsters
"The veterans set an example. This generation has played in a lot of finals, it's a generation full of dedication and a positive attitude. The veterans have contributed, continue to contribute and will do so in the future. In recent years a transition has taken place and there are less veterans. We will have youngsters taking on more responsibility and this is a development that the club is managing very well. A lot of young players have come in with a lot of technical quality, but they also understand what Real Madrid is all about".
Personal relationships
"I think that personal relationships are a fundamental aspect of life, the relationship with your family, friends and with those who work with you. All this based on a relationship of respect. I feel good doing this and I hope people understand this. Personal relationships are more important than professional relationships".
Managing the changing room
"I'm not a psychologist, but I'm experienced as I've worked for many years in the changing room. The personal relationship is the most important thing in my opinion and I try to treat people with respect not only in tactical aspects but also in personal aspects. I'am in an environment with 50 people and I spend more time with them than with my wife and children. So if it's not a good relationship it's not going to be a good atmosphere and I won't be doing a good job".
Arda Güler
"Arda has shown in the last few games how good he is, how talented he is and that he can be useful during the game. He'll play because he's on a fantastic goalscoring streak, he has a 100% success rate and he's an option for us".
What is your favourite Champions League moment?
"There are a lot of highlights. We reached a very similar final like in 2022 where we had to suffer a lot. We had a fantastic group stage, winning every game. But then we had problems with Leipzig in the second leg, where the team didn't play very well. Then in the quarter-finals against the best team in this competition, we managed to knock them out thanks to a superb defensive performance. Then there was the comeback against Bayern. These are the three key moments to highlight. Also when Joselu came on in the semi-final".
Kroos' last game
"It's Kroos’ last game and I hope he can finish his career by winning a Champions League, he deserves it on an individual level. But winning another Champions League doesn't add to his career. He's been a fantastic player during these 10 years, he's become part of the Real Madrid legend and it would be fantastic to finish by winning a Champions League. Although he is already part of football history, not just Real Madrid's".
‘No player is as good as everyone combined’
"Attitude and commitment have been the key to overcoming all the problems we've had. Everyone forgets now, but we've had the injuries to Courtois, Militão and Alaba in our minds. Then came Vini's two-month lay-off, Bellingham's, Camavinga's and Tchoaumeni's one-month absence because of his foot. But despite all this, the attitude and commitment has allowed us to have a fantastic season. There's also individual quality, but di Stefano's quote is the best quote".
Borussia experience
"We know all about Borussia. They're very experienced in this competition and that matters. They're a team that have reached the Champions League final on merit. Have the two best teams reached the Champions League final? Yes, we're not on holiday yet, others are and will have to watch the final on TV".
Just another fan
"I don't owe Real Madrid anything for having scored a goal. I'm going to try to do my best for this club, which is a special club. I can't talk like that about every club I've been at. I feel like just another fan, as I did at Milan. It's happening to me now with Madrid. I'm just another fan of this club and this jersey. I have the same feelings as everyone else: sadness and happiness. Right now I have the opportunity to do something for this club and I will do the best I can".
Approach to the Champions League final opponents
"We have to be ready for all the situations that come up during the game. We'll have to defend because Borussia are formidable in transitions with Sancho and Adeyemi. They also have a very strong forward who is very strong in the air and they play with a low defensive block. They play very similar to us and do well in every aspect of the game. They defend well, press high and play with a lot of transitions. It's going to be a competitive, hard-fought game and whoever does the best will win".
Europa League final
"Every game has its own story. Atalanta are an Italian team, I'd like to congratulate them and their coach Gasperini. Our match is a different game, with different characteristics and tactics. The Europa League match was won by the best team, which was Atalanta".
Who will be the goalkeeper?
"It's very difficult to say because they both deserve to play in this final. Lunin, who has a fever, has had an amazing season, and Courtois is back from injury and everyone knows his quality. It's a difficult decision, but I'm going to make the decision right at the end".
Routine before the final
"I like to eat broccoli, salmon and pasta, and that's what I'll eat. Then I'll have an hour's nap if I'm able to. I'll then think about the match and, before the chat, my heart will start to rise and beat up to 110 or 120 beats. It'll stay up there until the start of the game and, when it starts, my heart will go back to its normal rhythm".
VIni Jr.'s progress
"The work we've done with Vini has been good. He's added to his great talent with qualities like movement without the ball, moving off the ball better, choosing when to go inside and when to go outside. He's still developing a lot. I think he's more focused on team awards than individual ones. He's more focused on winning a Champions League with Real Madrid than on winning individual awards".
Information for the changing room
"There are a lot of ways to assess the opponent's team. We watch a lot of videos of their games, but we don't need more reports because we have them all. There are no secrets in football and with technology we can see everything. We don't need to give more information to the players".
Motivation to win the Champions League
"Continuing to win the Champions League is another motivation. We can compare ourselves to the 50s because taking Real Madrid to the top is a source of motivation".
Overcoming adversity
"When Courtois got injured we had Andrey and we signed Kepa. It was a very good signing because, despite not having played a lot, he has brought a lot to the dressing room. When Militão got injured we thought we had Alaba, Rüdiger and Nacho. When Alaba got injured we could have had a problem. Nobody believed that we had a problem and this was very important. The players seized their chance. I want to thank Tchouameni for his work because he played as a centre-back, which he doesn't really like. He preferred to play rather than stay on the bench, as did Camavinga, who played at left-back and he didn't like that either. My players have adapted a lot".
Nacho's future
"The only thing Nacho said to me was that we would talk after the final and I told him to phone me because I'm on holiday".