Ancelotti: "This could easily be the final and that would come as no surprise to anybody"

NEWS STORY. 14/02/2022

"We face a brilliant team at a great stadium and everyone will be watching this game", commented the coach.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League round-of-16 first-leg clash against PSG at the Parc des Princes (9pm CET) and the coach had the following to say: “The vibes are good. We’ve got all the confidence in the world, but it'll be a difficult game against tough opponents who, just like us, have ambitions of winning the competition. It would come as no surprise to anybody if this were the final. We're keen to knock out opponents who could compete with us to win the Champions League. The most important thing is to win this contest. It's a top-level game".

"We'll have to put in a complete performance. I don't think we'll see anything extraordinary. PSG will show their quality on the ball and their threat on the counter-attack and the same goes for Real Madrid: dominance in possession and direct attacking play. We're similar teams and are quite easily recognisable in that sense. The two teams have similar styles. If we're to win it, we'll have to produce a complete performance, both in defence and up top".

Who's under more pressure: PSG or Real Madrid?
“The pressure for the two teams relates to the fact that we’re both up against great opponents. We have to focus on preparing for the game properly, cope with the pressure and deal with it. It's a great motivation to be playing against a brilliant team at a great stadium and everyone will be watching this game. We just have to produce our best and I'm sure we'll do so. I'm certain that in terms of movitation, which is the most important thing, we'll be at 100%. It's then down to the coach to prepare a good game plan, but the two teams are pretty easily recognisable and I don't think it's that difficult for either coach to prepare a game plan”.

"I'm the last one to hear what the others say and then make a decision. He's already had the all-clear from the medics because he's been training individually without any problems and we'll see how he's feeling later. He hasn't played for a month, but this is Karim we're talking about and if he's fit, of course he has to play”.

Video.Ancelotti: “Este partido podría ser la final y nadie se sorprendería”

His spell at PSG
“I'm delighted to be back here because this club has an amazing history. Coaching is a real pleasure and it's a great experience both here and at Real Madrid. The bigger the club, the greater the enjoyment. Pochettino is doing a real good job here and it's not easy because there is so much pressure".

“I speak to him, just as I try to speak to all of them. I try to get the best out of them and to speak to them about their problems. I have a good relationship with him and the rest of the players. Personal relationships are strong when everyone shows respect and he has always done that and has never let me down in that regard. In the past, he hasn't had great motivation, but he wants to end things here in a good way. Bale has helped this club to win the Champions League, Copas del Rey, etc. and  signing off on a high here would be good for his career”.

Set-up for Parc des Princes clash
“We won't change the system from our 4-3-3 formation, but we might play a midfielder out wide. The type of wingers that we have, such as Vini Jr. or Asensio, mean that we have wide players who are used to playing in that position”.
“All of the players are 100% focused on producing their best and knocking out opponents who may compete with them to win the Champions League. Mbappé has the same thoughts as Benzema, Vini Jr. or Messi".

“He's a great player and has lots of experience. He's an important player for them. It’d be crazy to focus on stopping Mbappé, Di María, Messi, Icardi and him. We'd be better off thinking about what we're going to do”.