Mel optimistic for Madrid clash

Real Betis boss Pepe Mel remained upbeat after hearing his team face a visit to Real Madrid on the opening day of next season.

“In my three years with Betis we have always won the first official match and hopefully that will be repeated.

“We’ll be playing to win and we have already beaten Madrid once last season,” he told reporters.

Even so, Mel does not feel that facing Los Blancos so early in the campaign gives his team an advantage, despite their opponents having newly-appointed boss Carlo Ancelotti taking charge of his first La Liga game.

“I don’t know if it’s better to play them at the beginning or end [of the season].What will Ancelotti do to assemble all his pieces?’ he asked.

“I wish I had all those pieces. Madrid have very good players and you don’t have to explain to them what football is all about, but we have young players with great enthusiasm and hunger.

“They are a powerful team that will be competing for everything while we are one with great hopes.

“I think it will be a very competitive game, yet from an outsider’s point of view playing against Madrid is synonymous with losing, although hopefully not.

“I imagine my players will be excited about playing at the Bernabeu, because when you are a professional footballer what you want is challenges like these,” he explained.

Tags Pepe Mel