Real Madrid full of confidence in Champions League, says Ancelotti

Real Madrid’s French forward Karim Benzema celebrates scoring a goal during the last 16 seconds of the UEFA Champions League football match between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on March 15, 2023 in Madrid. — AFP

Madrid: Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said his side are full of confidence after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

The record 14-time European champions beat Liverpool 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu, 6-2 on aggregate, to reach the last eight.

Madrid are aiming to win the Champions League for the sixth time in 10 seasons and Ancelotti believes his side’s impressive run last season has given them plenty of confidence.

Los Blancos staged impressive comebacks against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City before beating Liverpool in the final.

Even in their last-16 first-leg clash with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, Madrid fell two goals behind before roaring to a 5-2 win.

“We have a lot of confidence, because what happened last year gave us a lot of confidence,” Ancelotti told reporters.

“We saw that in this tie, against a strong team, we did well in two games.

“But later, with confidence alone, we cannot reach the semi-finals. We have to play amazing football… As always, the Champions League is very complicated and we have to compete until the end.”

The coach praised the mix of youth and experience in his team with veteran midfielders Luka Modric and Toni Kroos and youngster Eduardo Camavonga playing well together against Liverpool.

“The atmosphere is created by the players – the intelligence, humility and patience of the veterans,” Ancelotti said.

“The key is the humility of the veterans, they don’t have egos, and the patience of the youngsters because they have players in front of them who have had and are still having great careers.

“Modric and Kroos are not playing because of their careers, they are playing because they deserve it.”

Klopp praised Real Madrid’s mentality in big European games.

“They are used to handling it in the best possible way, and we will have to see if they can do it again this year,” the Liverpool coach said.

“Unfortunately we have to watch these big games from afar.

“I don’t know who will win it, to be honest, it will be interesting to see.”

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