Carlo Ancelotti has sent a warning to his Real Madrid players during their final training session before the Champions League final.
Los Blancos take on Liverpool in Paris, looking to win their seventh European Cup in their history. But the Reds will provide a stern test for Ancelotti’s side, having already won the Carabao Cup and FA Cup so far this season.
Madrid have also enjoyed a successful season, winning the La Liga title for the second time in three years. Their run to Saturday’s showpiece event at the Stade de France has also been one of the greatest Champions League paths of all time, mounting astonishing comeback wins over Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Ancelotti held his final training session ahead of the clash with Liverpool on Friday, with his players given the chance to experience the Stade de France pitch. At the end of the session, the Italian gathered his players into a huddle.
Spanish TV show El Chiringuito captured the his speech to his squad, in which he urged them to forget about what had gone before. He also warned them that Liverpool would make it ‘difficult’ but encouraged them that he believed they would win.
“What we’ve done, the truth is it doesn’t matter now. Tomorrow you have to get used to it. Here you all are, to enjoy it, which is the most important thing in football. It will be beautiful but difficult. Tomorrow is the party of the final and after the final, we will be happy. And that’s all,” Ancelotti said.
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Madrid have had virtually a month to put their full focus into Saturday night’s clash, having wrapped up their title win on 30 April. Liverpool meanwhile were fighting for the Premier League until the final day of the season, ultimately losing out to City last Sunday.
But Ancelotti does not believe that necessarily hands his side an advantage, last week highlighting Madrid’s 2014 win as an example of a tired team overcoming that to triumph. The Madrid boss also insisted that it will be an “intense” battle.
“Back in 2014, we had some problems as far as physical conditions were concerned and yet we won the Champions League. It really depends on so many other factors. I’m sure it’s not going to have a big impact on Liverpool, the way they are going to play and the way they are going to go about the game,” he said.
“If the Liverpool players play, they don’t have an injury. They might not have been at their best in training, but that won’t affect their performance. It’s a final, they’ll give everything and it won’t affect the outcome.
“We have to prepare a game in which we show our qualities. We have shown that there is a great commitment, that there is a lot of quality, that those who have entered have shown their faces and made a difference. I think Liverpool will play an intense game, with individual quality and a lot of quality.”