After the magic, the routine. After the comebacks in the knockout rounds, Carlo Ancelotti seems to be looking forward to the Champions League final in Paris on Saturday against Liverpool with some peace of mind due to the strength of his squad: “Many of these players are going to play in the fifth final. For me it is the second in eight years. I go to the locker room and ask them to explain to me how to prepare for the final. I have nothing to teach these players”, the Italian said on Tuesday, half seriously, half joking.
His other final in these eight years was that of Real Madrid’s tenth European Cup, in Lisbon against Atlético de Madrid. In the comparison, with that of next Saturday, Ancelotti also leans towards calm: “This one is a little different. The one in 2014 was a previous one with much more pressure than this one. It was many years that Real Madrid did not win the Champions League. For us it was a great motivation, it was almost an obsession for everyone. Now Real Madrid is motivated, but with less obsession”, he said.
Part of the calm that Ancelotti projected in his press appearance also has to do with the intense tension that the comebacks entailed, although paradoxically the Italian coach explained that the most complicated game had been the second leg against Chelsea, after winning in London: “The mental aspect has been important. You had an advantage in the first leg. Everyone understood that we didn’t have to think about it, but you inevitably think you have an advantage. The other two [contra el PSG y el City] they had the same idea: we had to win because we had a disadvantage”.
Madrid seemed in its element against the current, although the coach prefers a quieter night in Paris, without having to come back: “Hopefully not. We would like Liverpool to try to come back. We would like once,” he said.