Real Madrid Coach Carlo Ancelotti has denied feeling nervous prior to today’s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.
Ancelotti has previously claimed that the entire season has been building up to the showpiece in Lisbon as Madrid chase their 10th European Cup, the fabled Decima.
But speaking at a Press conference on Friday evening, Ancelotti insisted that he was fully prepared for the encounter, although he did repeat that the campaign has been leading to this one match.
“We started the season thinking of achieving this goal and the 10th is very special for Madridistas,” Marca reports the Italian as saying.
“There is happiness at being in the final and also pressure and concern before the game.
“I’m not tense, I’m focused, very calm. Such matches don’t need hard work to motivate the players.
“I have a dream of a repeat of the game we played against Bayern Munich [in the semi-final].”
Ancelotti added that he has experience of the build-up to the Champions League final, having been there numerous times with Milan, and also batted back questions regarding his next step.
“The future is tomorrow. It’s very clear, Madrid,” Ancelotti said.
“I’m used to this talk. The Coach is always discussed. After the match tomorrow we’ll add the notes.
“You can say many things or you can say nothing. I have to give very clear instructions to my players and try to avoid putting pressure on them.
“We have to train well, be calm, follow instructions and enjoy this moment. I thought that 2007 was my last Press conference for a final but it has not been. It may be this.
“I worry about the unpredictable because anything can happen in a final. We have to work out what is expected and to play the game.”
Ancelotti went on to reveal a little more of his thoughts regarding the opposition and how they will approach the match.
“Our idea is to play with our style and attitude. It will be an even game tactically.
“Atletico can counter attack and we have to defend and attack well. I see a close game in attack and defence.
“The fate of a Coach is to have some good players and [Diego Simeone’s] chemistry with the players is very good.
“That’s why they have won the League. He has done a fantastic job.”
Ancelotti also discussed the fitness of Madrid’s players, confirming that Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are fit but doubts persist over Pepe and Karim Benzema.
“Friday training is very important,” Ancelotti said.
“There are no problems with Cristiano or Bale. Pepe and Benzema haven’t trained this week so we have to see.
“Karim has had a fantastic season. I don’t know what we lose by putting in another player with different characteristics who can do a good job.
“I don’t think it will be a match of individuality. Two teams meet and whoever is more of a team wins the game.”