Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti believes it is easier to with the UEFA Champions League with the Spanish side because of the “club’s history” and the fact that they have an army of committed fans rooting for them wherever they play.
Vinicius Junior scored the winner in the second half to fire Real to a record-extending 14th UEFA Champions League title as the Spanish giants defeated Liverpool 1-0 at the Stade de France early on Sunday (IST) to lift Europe’s most prestigious club trophy.
An ecstatic Ancelotti told the media after the record extending 14th UEFA Champions League title that, “It’s easier to win the Champions League with Real Madrid than with any other club because of the club’s history and the fans’ commitment.
“This European Cup has been the most difficult one. What helped us was the fact that everyone thought we couldn’t win and that made the team show commitment, confidence and fight. We’ve created a good atmosphere. Our individual quality has made the difference. We deserved to win this competition. From the last-16, we’ve had to work hard for it, but we’ve never given up,” said the Real manager on realmadrid.com.
Elaborating on Real’s strategy against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, Ancelotti said his team’s back-four provided the solidity, which helped the forwards press hard upfront.
“We managed the game really well. It was important to get behind their defence. The (Real) back-four all played really well because Liverpool couldn’t play balls in behind us. When they pressed less, we managed the game better. Liverpool haven’t lost many games this season.”
He added that it has been a pleasure coaching the side, given there are absolutely no egos, and calmness pervades the dressing room.
“I’d focus on the good atmosphere we’ve created. It’s not easy to achieve this kind of spirit because sometimes you get egos or perhaps there are players who get less game time and they complain. I have to say it’s been so easy to coach this team, the calmness in the dressing room in preparing for the game, despite the delays. At that moment, the players were calm and confident.
“The confidence comes with the history of the club, that’s eight finals won in a row, which isn’t normal because the Champions League is incredibly hard-fought and competitive.”
Vinicius Junior has been a revelation this season after the manager instilled confidence in him and also the fact that Karim Benzema was always there to assist him.
“The only thing I’ve helped Vini Jr. with has been his confidence. He’s improved in terms of his finishing and the rest of his game remains the same, such as his dribbling. He’s very efficient in that department. You need to take your time and keep a cool head. Benzema has helped him out, as has the confidence he’s been given by Madrid. Today’s goal was the icing on the cake and it’s the best possible way to round off the season,” added Ancelotti.
Real managed to win three trophies — Spanish Super Cup, La Liga and the Champions League — this season and the manager put it down to the team’s philosophy.
“There were a lot of question marks during the games against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City (in earlier rounds of the Champions League). Tonight’s game was a tough one, but it wasn’t as tough because we didn’t need to produce a comeback. The players didn’t have any doubts in their minds because they continued to believe. We had to dig in in the first half, but we controlled the game.”
(Inputs from IANS)