Convinced that the motivation and enthusiasm for reaching another Champions League final will be above fatigue, which Carlo Ancelotti stated “is not going to be the most important thing” against Manchester City, the Italian coach of Real Madrid ruled out that his match approach is “to stop Haaland”.
Ancelotti: ‘It’s not just Haaland’
“Obviously Haaland is a very dangerous player who is showing impressive quality to score goals, he is dangerous, but talking only about him means not talking about a complete team that plays football very well, attacks and defends well with many ideas. We are not planning a match to stop Haaland, but rather a team that seems unstoppable“He said at a press conference.
Despite City’s potential, Ancelotti predicts “an even and competitive game” in which Real Madrid has “options to win” without obsessing over Haaland’s potential.
“We are not thinking of stopping a player, we want to stop a very dangerous team with the ball. The defensive aspect is very important, but without being focused only on one player, there are others that are also dangerous,” he said.
In the analysis of the group directed by Pep Guardiola, the Italian coach does not think that the coach has changed his style due to the presence of a striker with Haaland’s characteristics, but rather that he has increased records.
“It is a more complete team compared to last year. Although they also already had a very dangerous striker like Gabriel Jesús, but with different characteristics compared to Haaland. Manchester City have not changed their style, they may play more direct and take advantage of the long ball because they have a very important striker. It is one more variant, but it does not mean that the team has changed its style. He is very well organized at the back and handles the ball well,” he explained.
Real Madrid’s plan
Carletto was convinced that the pass to the final will be decided at the Etihad next week: “The plan is to make the best of what we have, to play a complete game knowing that the decisive game will be the second leg. We want to take a small advantage tomorrow. Let’s see if we can achieve it”.
And comparing the situation in which his team arrives at the big event, in the same semi-final as last year, the Real Madrid coach appreciated the emotional boost that winning the Copa del Rey means.
“We reached the same level. It is difficult to evaluate our physical condition and compare it with last year, what counts is the motivation and enthusiasm we have. Winning the Copa del Rey will be one more motivation for tomorrow. We are very excited” , he pointed.
His Real Madrid hasn’t fit in a bit in the ‘Champions’ since the first part of the round of 16 game, at Anfield against Liverpool: “If you defend well, the worst thing is a draw, that doesn’t mean we’re not going to attack because we have the quality to do it We don’t forget that last year we conceded five and scored six. I would sign him this year.”
Lastly, Ancelotti discussed the growth of the Brazilian pair Vinícius-Rodrygo, key players this season.
“I have helped these youngsters by giving them minutes and having confidence in them. They are taking advantage of it and doing very well. The progress of both is important for the future of this club and for this squad. Like Valverde or Camavinga. It makes us excited for the future that is also tomorrow”said.