Speaking ahead of Real Madrid’s second leg clash against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, Carlo Ancelotti dismissed reports of being over-confident, suggesting that his team will be looking to capitalize on their slender advantage.
Having won the first leg 1-0 at home, Real Madrid have one foot firmly in the finals as they visit the Allianz Arena on Tuesday. Pep Guardiola, earlier in his press conference, spoke about Real Madrid being over confident, thinking themselves to already be in the finals. However Carlo Ancelotti dismissed such allegations, insisting that Real Madrid are far from taking things for granted.
“Hopefully we’re in the final. Nobody has said that we’ve won. Tomorrow’s game will be very tough against a big team. We are not so foolish to think that we already won. We have a small advantage and we want to capitalize on it.”
Talking about his tactics and Bayern Munich’s preparations, Ancelotti played down the clash of two opposing systems, insisting that it is the player’s determination and desire to win that makes a difference in such matches.
“I don’t think too much will change from the first leg. Bayern will not change its philosophy and we’ll do something different, but not drastic. Tactics are not as important as the mental aspect and the desire to reach the final.The shape isn’t as important as the team remaining together.”
“It depends on the players. Benzema, Cristiano and Bale all need space to make the quickest transmission. The good thing about football is that it fits all styles. I like the quick transition.”
The Italian will be boosted by the presence of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the squad but failed to divulge any information regarding the first team.
“I have the entire squad in good physical and mental condition. It’s not easy to choose the eleven. I will not reveal the line-up.”
He singled out Gareth Bale and Di Maria in his press conference, saying that both the players have had a good season with Real Madrid. Talking about Gareth Bale, he spoke about the Welshman’s initial set-backs and how he is only going to get better for Real Madrid in the years to come.
“I’m happy with him, even with his initial setbacks. He’ll only improve.”
The manager has also been impressed by Di Maria, who seems to have come alive this season. The Argentine is having one of his best seasons at Real Madrid and is adapting well to his new position under Ancelotti.
“He’s having a fantastic season. He’s adapted to a position that is not his and I can place him in other positions. We are very pleased with him.”
It now remains to be seen what tricks Carlo Ancelotti has up his sleeves come Tuesday. Will he choose to play Di Maria and go looking for that early goal or will the manager opt for Isco and choose to contain the ball. We shall soon find out.