Real Madrid, Ancelotti: “The greatest emotions in the Champions League, happy to make another final”

Carlo AncelottiReal Madrid coach, spoke to UEFA microphones ahead of the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund:

“This year the team has shown great cohesion. It is a very determined group dedicated to teamwork. Despite some initial difficulties, it was an excellent season and the group’s harmony and professionalism allowed us to overcome all the tests There is a balance between the older players who lead by example and the younger ones with their very high quality. This has allowed our club to go through this transition phase, which we are still in.”

On the mix of young people and veterans
“Nacho has grown a lot here. He came through the youth team, gaining experience and, even if he wasn’t always a first choice, he also grew every year from a personality point of view, until he became the captain. He is an example of determination and professionalism. Toni Kroos is still a pillar, as is Luka Modrić. They are still fundamental players for the team, even if, since the young players arrived, perhaps we count on them a little less more quality than quantity, and both had an excellent season in this sense.”

On to the final with Dortmund
“First of all, they deserve to be in the final because they put in great performances in the previous rounds, defeating very strong teams like Atlético de Madrid and Paris. They are a very solid and close-knit team, with great players. Their defensive performance against Paris made me surprised. We are really happy to play another final. The tension will come, but we want it to come as late as possible. We have to enjoy this moment.”

Reflections on the Champions League
“In this competition I felt the greatest emotions, both positive and negative. I can’t forget the final we lost against Liverpool [nel 1984] when I was at Roma, nor the other final lost against Liverpool in 2005 [da allenatore del Milan]. But there are also many positive memories. Passion certainly prevails, and this is what keeps me going.”

On his evolution as a coach
“It is very important to continue learning because life changes and football changes, and it is essential to keep up to date. Relationships with colleagues and the exchange of ideas with them are also very important. If I proposed what I did 20 years ago as a coach, everyone would think I’m crazy because things, methods and training change, so you have to keep up with the times.”