Ancelotti says: Real Madrid are happy to prove the critics wrong

26 Apr 2022 | 08:47 | Football

Real Madrid’s Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti leads a team practice session at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. Photo: AFP


Real Madrid’s Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti leads a team practice session at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. Photo: AFP

Coach Carlo Ancelotti says Real Madrid are delighted to reach the Champions League semi-finals following criticism and lack of confidence towards them for much of the season.

The thirteen-time European champions are set to face Manchester City in the first leg on Tuesday.

“I certainly remember what all the pundits said at the start of the season,” the Italian said at a press conference at the Etihad Stadium on Monday.

“Obviously there are two semi-finalists that everyone is betting against, us and Villarreal.

“The two teams come here as the weaker teams, (Real) beating favorites like Paris St Germain, home team Chelsea, (Villarreal knocking out) Juventus and Bayern Munich. I always say Real Madrid. will compete against anyone.”

Villarreal face Liverpool at Anfield in the first leg semi-final on Wednesday.

Ancelotti says there are mixed emotions in Real’s dressing room – happy to have come this far but worried about the pressure of facing tough Premier League rivals Man City, the country’s champions. Brother.

“Our history, having won 13 trophies in this competition, makes it all the easier for the players because they feel how much the Real Madrid jersey weighs in one game. play in the Champions League,” Ancelotti said.

“They feel capable of doing anything, like they fought back to get past PSG and Chelsea. Real Madrid’s history means a lot to us. More than rivals. “

Real midfielder Federico Valverde agreed.

Valverde, 23, told a press conference: “When you wear this shirt, you want to win it all and you feel like you are always the favorite to win it all, regardless of what others think. ,” Valverde, 23, told a news conference.

“It’s a responsibility but it’s an advantage because your opponents will always see you differently because you are Real Madrid. I agree with what (Man City manager) Pep Guardiola said earlier (that the team) His history must rival that of Real Madrid.) Our history weighs heavily.”

Ancelotti questioned the fitness of three players for Tuesday’s game. Left-back Ferland Mendy trained well on Sunday and will be available but doubts remain over how ready left-back David Alaba and midfielder Casemiro will be.

“We feel more confident and upbeat with Alaba. We’ll see how he performs in training later on Monday. But Casemiro is still recovering and if he can’t go on Tuesday, he will be available next week,” he said.