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Ancelotti: "We're not thinking about what could happen, we just need to play with the intensity required to win the game"

NEWS STORY. 14/03/2023

"We're going to play an open game and produce our best attacking football", explained the coach.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media in the press room at Real Madrid City on the day prior to the Champions League Round of 16 second leg match against Liverpool. The coach gave his thoughts on the game: "The message is clear. We don't have to do any calculations, what we have to do is play as well as we can. We have to go into the game in the same way as we did in the first leg. We're not thinking about what could happen, we just need to play with the intensity and passion required to win the game".

"I might not express a lot of tension but there are times in your career when you really struggle with it, that's to be expected. Against Chelsea was one of those times. Everyone who was involved in that comeback understands".

Plans for the game
"We haven't spoken a whole lot. We've analysed what we did well and what we did badly in the first leg - we did a lot of good things, especially from an attacking perspective. We're not going to go into the game thinking that we have the advantage, we'll play an open game of attacking football. We're not going to make calculations, the players understand that. We'll have to attack and defender well, but we're not only thinking about defending, we're more focused on going forward".

Mental aspect
"From a psychological viewpoint, I think it's tougher for us than it is for Liverpool. They have to go all out from the first minute no matter what. The result of the first leg asks questions for us, but we'll do our best to push hard from the first minute, although we've got more to lose than our opponents in that respect. Next year, I'll be counting on the players the club make available to me".

Vini Jr. and the referees
"I'm happy with his progress and I don't pay much attention to that. His attitude was exemplary in the last game but I'm focused on what he does on the pitch, which is what he does best".

Camavinga in the starting XI
“He's hugely important for us, he's doing a great job, some brilliant performances. He makes mistakes but the way he's been playing really makes up for any errors. Against Espanyol he obviously made the error but he was playing out of position. Then he delivers such an amazing performance that everyone forgets his mistakes. It's normal for a young lad like him with extraordinary quality. He's untouchable today and will continue to be so”.
Youth or experience early on 
“Trick question. In tomorrow's game, both experience and energy will be crucial".


“He'll be at 100%. Despite not training on Sunday, he's had some good sessions and he's up for it. For Benzema, for me, for the players and the club, this is a hugely important competition”.

“If we chat, it's about how he's feeling, if he is in good shape. I don't speak with Benzema every day but he looks motivated and hungry ahead of tomorrow's match”.
Vini Jr. setting an example
“He's on the right track to make history at Real Madrid in the coming years, just like Modrić, Kroos, Benzema, Casemiro already have… This whole group has been unbelievable, especially in the Champions League”.
Kroos' fitness
“He did a great job against Espanyol. He's in good physical condition and he's fully recovered from his stomach bug now. He's in the same place as the rest of the group, at full fitness. I brought him off because sometimes you have to make the most of your substitutions to bring that bit of freshness. Sometimes I like to switch things up, not because someone isn't playing well, but to give us that bit more energy”.
Experience gained from Chelsea tie
“The memories are still fresh in our minds from the Chelsea games, that will help us ensure we do things differently. That's why what I said is so important. We can't be making calculations and risk falling into the open game we saw in the first leg”.
Relationship with Hazard
"It's not a cold relationship. He's been very honest. We don't talk a lot, that's true. Often it's a question of character, you find it easier to talk to certain people. For me that's not the most important thing, it's more about how he respects me even though he doesn't play much. I really value that and I respect him in the same way. He's not playing because there is a lot of competition and there's a player in Vini Jr. playing in his position who is contributing a lot".
Benzema and Deschamps
“This is more of a personal issue. Deschamps was a player of mine as well and I respect him as a person, player and coach. I'm not getting involved. I don't think it's affecting Benzema, it's not something he talks about and I don't think it worries him too much".