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Ancelotti urges Real Madrid to play with ‘courage and personality’ against Man City

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti admits he is nervous before their Champions League clash with Manchester City.

Real Madrid and Manchester City are set to meet in the Champions League quarter-finals at the Bernabeu on Tuesday. Ancelotti’s side managed to eliminate Man City in the semi-finals in 2022, but Guardiola’s side knocked them out after a 5-1 win on aggregate.

In his pre-match press conference, Ancelotti urged his players to play with “more personality” compared to the 4-0 defeat at the Etihad last season.

He told reporters: “We played without courage and without personality. It is fundamental in these games. There was a lack of that in the return leg. We didn’t manage things in the best way, it wasn’t just a lack of mental character, it was also that we lacked technical quality, they pressed us very high, and they sought us out, and we didn’t find alternative solutions to that. Obviously that’s something we want to improve this time round.”

Ancelotti added: “We have different characteristics with the ball, we had [Karim] Benzema last year, he was a reference, and now we don’t have him. We have handled this absence with more mobility on the attacking front. And that will be important, not fixing the forward positions.”

The 62-year-old Italian coach, who has won four Champions League titles, also admitted that he still is ‘very nervous’ ahead of big matches.

Ahead of his 200th Champions League match as a coach, Ancelotti said: “Yes, very nervous. The hours before a match are a time when you have to suffer.

I was thinking the other day that defeat is suffering and victory is happiness, but it’s not that way. Victory is relief.

“It’s happiness if you win trophies, but an isolated victory is a relief.

You’re calmer and happier the days after, but suffering is part of your job. It’s what keeps you alive. It’s fuel for me.”

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.
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