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Champions League: Real Madrid between “confidence” and “fear” before the final, says Carlo Ancelotti

Real Madrid oscillates between great “confidence” and a necessary “fear” before facing Dortmund on Saturday in the Champions League final, “the most important and most dangerous match” of the season, according to coach Carlo Ancelotti.

“The team is well focused, there is the necessary confidence in the locker room to give our best. We obviously have the confidence, we have to have it to play the most important match of the season,” “the most dangerous one too,” said the Italian on Friday at a press conference from Wembley, the final stadium. “When you reach the final, you are very close, and that’s where the worries start. There is a lot of fear and that’s normal,” he added.

The 64-year-old coach, who has won the trophy with AC Milan (2003 and 2007) and Real Madrid (2014 and 2022), was calm and determined as usual. “In this kind of match, the most important thing is to put it clearly in the players’ heads what they have to do on the pitch. The clearer I am, the less nervous the team will be,” he explained. Before a final, “I really focus on the tactical aspect,” he says. “Emotions come afterwards and everyone has to manage them individually. There will be emotions, a little fear, but fear is an important thing to do things well.”

READ MORE: Terzić vs. Ancelotti: The novice takes on the veteran

“It’s 50-50,” says Luka Modric

“It’s a final and there is nervousness. We are human beings, it’s a difficult, unique match,” added Nacho, his captain, present at his side in front of the press. The defender nevertheless showed “maximum confidence” in his teammates, in unison with Luka Modric, who was also at the podium.

The 38-year-old Croatian midfielder, world runner-up and Ballon d’Or winner in 2018, played the humility card before facing the outsider Dortmund. “Everyone makes us big favorites, but we don’t think like that. It’s 50-50. They are a great team, who have had a great season in the Champions League. We have a lot of respect for them,” said Modric.

Ancelotti also praised the progress of Borussia Dortmund, who finished first in the “group of death” (Paris SG, AC Milan, Newcastle) before eliminating Atlético Madrid and then Paris Saint-Germain before the final. “We have a lot of respect for our opponent, they deserve to be in the final, I hope our plan goes as planned,” he said.

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