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Real Madrid: Champions League 2024 final ‘could go wrong’ – Ancelotti

Ancelotti's only loss in the final came when Milan spurned a 3-0 lead over Liverpool in 2005

Real Madrid football manager Carlo Ancelotti

Real Madrid know their attempt to become European champions for a record-extending 15th time “could go wrong” in Saturday’s Uefa Champions League final, manager Carlo Ancelotti has said.

Ancelotti has won the Champions League twice at AC Milan and twice at Madrid, as well as twice as a player for the Italian club – but the wily 64-year-old says the most prestigious game in the European club season is the “most dangerous”.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” suggested Ancelotti, whose side are the favourites against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium.

“We need to enjoy it to the maximum. Then concern starts – it could go wrong. We are so close to the most important thing in football – winning the Champions League.

“Of course there is fear. When you reach a final, success is so close that you start to worry. Concern starts: tonight, tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon. It’s normal. If you have more fear, you’ll be happier if you are able to win in the end.”

The most successful side in the history of European football are seeking a 15th title in the competition when they face opponents bidding to add to their maiden triumph in 1996/97.

Spanish champions Madrid’s only defeat since September in all competitions came against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey in January, helped by 23 goals each by Vinicius Jr and summer signing Jude Bellingham.

Dortmund have had a more mixed season, losing seven times as part of a fifth-placed finish in the Bundesliga and suffering two defeats in the Champions League.

Champions League final: Madrid favourites

Ancelotti’s players edged past holders Manchester City in the quarter-finals and beat six-time champions Bayern Munich in the final four.

“Our obsession is to try and compete to give our maximum, as we have done throughout the season,” said Ancelotti. “Sometimes things don’t happen the way you’d like.

“Winning the Champions League is very, very important and we can already say this team’s season has been really successful, no matter what happens.”

Statistics experts Opta’s predictor has given Madrid a 63.5% chance of winning. Find out all the key details on how to follow the final.

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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.