Carlo Ancelotti is not focusing on the possibility of defeat ahead of Sunday’s LaLiga Clasico against Barcelona
Carlo Ancelotti has stated that Real Madrid have not even considered the possibility of losing the LaLiga Clasico against Barcelona on Sunday as they aim to keep their title hopes alive.
If Real Madrid loses at Camp Nou, it would be a massive setback for the defending champions and put them 12 points behind with only 12 games remaining in the season.
Ancelotti has encouraged his players to approach the match against Barcelona as if they were facing ‘a lion, not a cat’.
He admitted that he himself would be apprehensive about entering their den. Nonetheless, he has promised that Real Madrid will be on the offensive.
Carlo Ancelotti has won three out of seven LaLiga games against Barcelona, losing the other four.
If he wins Sunday’s Clasico, he will become the fifth Real Madrid manager to win four or more Clasicos in LaLiga, after Miguel Munoz (12), Francisco Bru (5), Luis Molowny (5), and Zinedine Zidane (4).
Ancelotti likens Barcelona to ‘Lions’
However, if he and his team fail to win, many will consider the title race to be effectively over. Ancelotti does not share this view as he has not allowed the thought of defeat to enter his mind.
“I don’t know, we didn’t think about that,” he said. “We thought about winning. If we don’t win, we’ll think about it.
“We have to see Barca as a lion, not as a cat. If we see them as a cat, it seems like we are going to a party. We are going to play against a great team, and it’s an important game.
“In these games there’s always fear, of course, but that’s normal. It’s fear, nerves. For me, the two hours before kick-off are the worst.”
Real Madrid are currently in a strong position in the Champions League, a competition in which they have been very successful in the past, having won it 14 times.
“We have to see Barca as a lion, not as a cat“
Their chances of winning a trophy this season are likely to be higher in the Champions League, where they are seen as formidable opponents. They will face Chelsea in the quarter-finals of that competition.
“The data shows we have a disadvantage in the Copa and in LaLiga, and where we don’t have it is in the Champions League,” Ancelotti said. “Anything can happen. We want to reduce the disadvantage in LaLiga.”
For the Clasico, Ancelotti has told his players to “enjoy the moment, be the protagonists”.
“Tomorrow we will play offensively, yes,” he added. “Offensively, but without risks.
“We have the plan, the two teams know each other very well. We have no secrets.”