Ancelotti believes ‘Evertonians will support Real Madrid’ against Liverpool in Champions League final

Carlo Ancelotti has insisted the Real Madrid players were ‘very calm’ ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool.



Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti


© PA Pictures
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti

Ancelotti won the European Cup twice with AC Milan as a player. He then helped them lift the title in 2003 and 2007 when he was manager. He also won the trophy with Real Madrid in 2014.

After spells at Bayern Munich and Napoli, Ancelotti took over at Everton in December 2019.

Real Madrid enjoy a mixed week of CL-minded games against Liverpool

The Toffees finished 12th this season and 10th in what turned out to be his only full campaign at the helm before making a stunning return to the Bernabeu this time last year.

The move proved a masterstroke, with Ancelotti helping Real win La Liga at a gallop and leading the return kings on a rollercoaster ride to Saturday’s Champions League final against liverpool.

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‘It’s a great contrast’, former Everton boss Ancelotti said. “I thought about it, how very different things were last year.

“Then there was a phone call with Jose Angel (Sanchez) and the president (Florentino Perez).

“This year seems long. I treat it naturally. Reaching this final is a great achievement for us, we know how demanding this club is, it’s the whole history of the club.

“It was a big feat to get there. We think we had a very good season and we are very close to achieving something huge this season.

“We are very calm in the camp. I’m here to manage the game, the veteran players helping the younger ones, to have a good atmosphere around the team with a lot of excitement and confidence.

Ancelotti’s exit stuck in the stomachs of many at Goodison Park, but the Merseyside blue half are sure to be behind their former coach when they face off at the Stade de France on Saturday.

“I know the Evertonians will support us tomorrow for sure,” Ancelotti said with a laugh.

“I know there is a big rivalry on Merseyside. I have fond memories of my time at Liverpool on the blue side and I’m sure they will support me tomorrow.

Ancelotti was relaxed and assured in his pre-match press conference appearance – little surprise given his unrivaled experience preparing for the occasion.

“It’s something you dream about, but you can’t control it,” he said. “It’s my fifth final, I have good memories of all these finals.

“It’s a little strange to think about it but I think the best (performance) was the final against Liverpool in 2005. But we lost it (on penalties after leading 3-0) at the AC Milan.

“I’m not going to tell the players to play badly tomorrow because of course we want to give our best but anything can happen in a final. We must be ready for anything.

“We had time to prepare well, I think we go there in very good shape.

“We will do our best, of course, but I’m not sure that’s enough to win.

“It will give us a better chance if we play better. As for whether it’s enough, I don’t know because there are things you can’t control in football.

“It’s my fifth final and there’s always a similar feeling in the preparation.

“It’s always fantastic to be involved and you have to enjoy it without thinking too much about what could happen.

“We have to enjoy it until the referee blows his whistle. Then another story will be written.

Ancelotti says he has already chosen a line-up which will surely include sniper Karim Benzema.

The France international has been in spectacular form under Ancelotti, scoring 15 goals in the Champions League alone this season.

“Going back to my first spell at Real Madrid, Karim Benzema always had so much character,” added Ancelotti, who has traveled a lot.

“But he grew up in this department but his quality didn’t change. He was always very humble too.