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Champions League final 2024: Real Madrid will feel ‘fear’, admits Ancelotti

Madrid have not lost since September in the Champions League and La Liga

Real Madrid football manager Carlo Ancelotti

Manager Carlo Ancelotti says Real Madrid will feel “fear” and a “cold sweat” before their Uefa Champions League final 2024 encounter with Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

A four-time European champion as a coach, Ancelotti’s focus is on keeping his squad relaxed and confident for a game in which the Spanish champions are favourites against also-rans in the Bundesliga whose only previous Champions League title came in 1996/97.

“The cold sweat will be there on Saturday afternoon,” Ancelotti told Madrid’s TV channel, anticipating an occasion when the Spanish champions will bid to extend their own record as 14-time European titlists. “I’m ready for that and it’s normal. It comes in every game and I’m experienced.

“I’m very confident and excited about my team because I can see them in Champions League mode. The week is going to be the same as always. I’m looking forward to it and I’m happy to be here. The fear will come but, before it does, I want to enjoy it – and I’m going to.”

The Italian has won the Champions League in each of the first seasons of his two spells in charge of Madrid, lifting the trophy in 2014 and 2022. He had already achieved the feat twice each as a player and manager at AC Milan.

“It’s my ninth [European] final if you take into account three as a player and my sixth as a coach,” Ancelotti reflected. “We’re happy to be the centre of attention once again in the most important match of the season.

“I’m in an environment with 50 people and I spend more time with them than with my wife and children, so if it’s not a good relationship, it’s not going to be a good atmosphere and I won’t be doing a good job.

“We must have a clear idea of ​​what we need to do, that’s the most important thing. I’ve always done it and I will do it this week too. I will give clear information to my players to give them a clear idea of ​​what to do.

“That’s the best way to remove any stress. When you know what you have to do, you’re focused and you don’t think about other things that cause stress.”

Dortmund ‘worry’ Madrid boss Ancelotti

Dortmund have lost twice during their Champions League campaign but won as underdogs against Paris St-Germain in the semi-finals, scoring the only goal in both legs.

“Their attitude, commitment and the quality they have up front are what makes them stand out,” said Ancelotti. “They’ve got quality players; they’re young, experienced and quick in transitions.

“What really stands out for me is their attitude and the fight to reach the final, as they showed in both games against PSG. The fight and desire is what worries me the most. We’re convinced that we’re going to have to dig deep, fight and battle, as we do in every final.”

Picture of Ben Miller

Ben Miller

Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.