‘Stupid to think of the final’

Carlo Ancelotti has hit back at Pep Guardiola, claiming that his side ‘aren’t so stupid’ to think they’re already in the final.

The Bayern Munich Coach accused Los Blancos celebrating a place in the Champions League final too soon after their first leg victory over the Bavarians.

But ahead of their return clash in Germany, the Italian tactician has insisted that his men are fully focused on this game – not Lisbon in May.

“I hope we get through to the final. Nobody has said that we have won,” he told a Press conference.

“The game [today] is a very difficult one against a really top team. We’re not so stupid as to think that we’ve already won.

“We have a small advantage from the first leg and we want to make the most of it.

“No, I don’t think that was [Pep’] intention [to cause controversy]. Sometimes when you have to talk in a Press conference, you have to say something to make the time go by.

“Guardiola is very professional and he’s focused on the match, like me.

“It won't change much from the first leg. Bayern have a philosophy that I don’t think they’ll change, and we’ll do something different.

“I don’t think in general that the tactics are the most important thing, but rather the mental side of things, your desire to get to the final.

“The past is in the past. I have good memories of this stadium, but I haven’t spoken to the players about that

Ancelotti was then asked if his team would learn from the mistakes made against Borussia Dortmund in the last round.

“In Italy, catenaccio isn’t a bad word, because it’s something that brought us a lot of success. It doesn’t always hurt, but what happened in Dortmund was a single, isolated match and this is a new game.”

The Merengues boss then remarked on the tactics his side could use at Allianz Arena.

“In the first leg we weren’t so happy with the start we made to the game because we started the game very cautiously and that would be very dangerous tomorrow.

“We’re going to try to do something different.

“[Possesion versus counter-attack?] It depends on the players. Bale, [Karim] Benzema and Cristiano need space and quick transitions.

“That’s what’s great about football – everyone has their own ideas. I like transition-based football better.

“In most games we try to play attacking football, but not with long spells of possession, because we need quick transitions to make the most of our physical and technical qualities.

“I need to work more so that Madrid can have a better identity.”

He concluded by commenting on rumours that Manchester United could be interested in his services.

“I respect everyone but I haven’t had contact with anyone and I don’t need to. I want to stay at Madrid for a long time and it’s strange answering this question the day before a Champions League semi-final.

“Real Madrid is my club and I’m happy here.”

Tags Ancelotti Bayern Munich