Earlier today, Carlo Ancelotti gave a press-conference as many different reporters from around the world were available as he talked about the upcoming UEFA Champions League Final match against Atletico Madrid. Many important questions were asked and a lot of information was given by the Italian manager as he seems confident and prepared to come back home with La Decima!
“I think that there are no secrets about this game as both teams know each other very well. The Final will be a close match, there are no favorites, odds are even. We know that we are facing a really solid team that know how to play well together. It will be really tough and I think that we need very intense work. We also need the fans to help us as much as they did against Barcelona.
Pepe and Benzema are our only questionable players. Right now, they cannot play but we have four days and we will be making our decision on Saturday. If Pepe cannot play, then Varane will be playing in Pepe’s spot.
I’m very proud of playing this match with Real Madrid. I have no pressure and I’m only happy about living the moment. Our job in this Champions League has been really good, and the team has done really big things in this competition. Some big teams will watch the game on TV while we are lucky enough to be playing in it. Let’s see what happens. I will give my best to win this trophy including my experiences.
Both, Diego Costa and Arda Turan, are really important players but Atleti have played really fantastic games without them, so I think that their toughness will not change. I also want to congratulate them because of their La Liga title. I don’t think that the match will change with or without Costa. They are strong as a team. For us, if a player is not at 100%, he might still play if he does not have an injury.
Yes, [the midfield] is the most important part and we need to be brave and play with a good attitude. Atleti are very solid and we need to know that. We have played them four times this season and they are solid even if they are attacking. We need to find other answers to hurt them.
[Asier Illarramendi] is alright, I think he’s fine because he’s confident. I can confirm that Illarramendi is available for Saturday’s match, but I will not confirm the lineup because we have another press-conference in Lisbon. If we were having the press-conference on Saturday then I would give the lineup, but you are unlucky because we have the press-conference on Friday.
I have good memories of the Copa del Rey Final. The fans were supporting the team from the hotel to Mestalla and I think that helped us a lot. It will be the same for the Final in Lisbon.
We wanted [Gareth Bale] to work in the gym today, both [Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo] will play the Final and that’s enough for us. He is excited because this is his first Champions League Final and I am sure that he will play well.
I think that [Fabio Coentrao] will stay with Real Madrid next season. About Saturday, both Coentrao and Marcelo are available and ready to play.
[Karim Benzema] might not be at 100% because he has not trained with the squad but, if he is not injured, then he will play. I’m not worried about him not training this week. You can’t change a players’ physical condition in three days. If he’s not risking an injury, then he will play.
The most important part is not to be afraid. We need to prepare for the game well and get ready for every possible situation. Atleti will be excited because of their La Liga title, I don’t think that this title will distract them. It’s good to think about every aspect of the game. Zidane scored in Glasgow and he knows how to prepare for this kind of game. I’m positive and I’m only thinking about winning. This trophy is not an obsession, it’s a great opportunity for everyone. I’m not thinking about my future because it’s obvious without considering what happens in the Final. With or without La Decima, I’m happy to be here.
I don’t think that [the transfer budget of both teams] will decide the game. The match will be decided by technical, physical and tactical matters, not financial ones.
Sami Khedira is ready to play, he’s available. He has not played lately but he’s in very good physical condition”
– All quotes from “ManagingMadrid”
Well, that’s what Carlo Ancelotti had to say as the fans and players all await the big game on May 24. No matter what is said now or what happens until then, the players who are on the pitch will do everything in their power to come back home with a trophy. They will want to make sure that they did what they possibly could and left their souls on the pitch.
The night in Lisbon will be one to remember.