Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that winning the Champions League at Real Madrid would be ‘a dream’, but his side were not giving up on the league as well.
The Madrid team have not won the top European title since 2002 and are desperate to lift that trophy for the 10th time. Ancelotti’s side faces Borussia Dortmund in Wednesday’s quarter-final first leg at the Bernabeu.
“We had led the table for a long time and were unbeaten. We suffered two consecutive setbacks and we have fallen behind. But we will continue to fight and it will be an interesting end to the season. The dream is La Decima [the 10th European Cup] , but the League is a concrete objective,” he told Radio Anch’lo Sport.
“The League is interesting because beyond the three teams at the top, there are teams like Athletic Bilbao who are very competitive. I have a strong team and complete – there are champions, experienced players and young people from the academy.”
The former Milan boss went on to comment on the difference between Spanish and Italian football:
“Spanish football is different and reflects the philosophy and culture of this country. And it is mostly played with much possession of the ball. It is different, certainly, to Italian football, which is experiencing a particular moment.
“There are cycles, it remains technically competitive, but to improve it is normal that there is a need for innovations in infrastructure.
“Spanish football is alive because there are young players who are interesting. We brought in five players to the squad this year, but everyone is talking about Gareth Bale.”
Ancelotti said that Real were the most ‘complete’ team he has managed so far:
“Real is the most complete team I have coached. Besides great champions like Cristiano Ronaldo, I have so many young promising players as well as experienced ones.”
The Italian also spoke about Atletico Madrid’s spectacular rise this season:
“Atletico are an Italian team, one of the few who does not practice tiki-taka, but are more to the point.
“They are an incredible surprise, some expected that they would have given up, but they have not. There is a positive air around their team, they will hold until the end. Then, it is as question of details.”
Ancelotti concluded by commenting on Cristiano Ronaldo’s season:
“Ronaldo? It is a simple thing to train him because he is an immense professional. He has understood that talent devoid of professionalism does not allow you to stay at the highest levels. That is the same for him, for Ibrahimovic and for many others.”