Carlo Ancelotti believes winning the Champions League was more important than the League or the Copa del Rey for Real Madrid.
Madrid claimed La Decima last night, beating Atletico Madrid 4-1 in Lisbon after scoring three times in extra-time following Sergio Ramos’ injury-time equaliser.
Diego Godin had put Atletico in front in the first-half and the League champions held on until the 93rd minute before Ramos intervened.
Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo then added to the score line in extra-time as Atletico tired, Madrid regaining the European Cup 12 years after they last lifted the trophy.
“Levelling the match [was most difficult],” AS reports Ancelotti as saying at his post-match Press conference.
“We have to say, we suffered a lot. We had space and Atletico defended very well. We tried with all possible energy.
“Then the game changed. We got the goal that gave us a lot of strength.”
It was at this point that a group of Madrid players – Isco, Ramos, Marcelo, Pepe, Luka Modric, Sami Khedira and Alvaro Morata – invaded the Press conference to celebrate with the Coach.
Once the players had left, Ancelotti was asked if he felt Madrid got lucky, particularly with the five minutes of injury time added on that so incensed his Atleti counterpart, Diego Simeone.
“I’m lucky, but not for this game,” Ancelotti replied.
“I don’t think five minutes was any longer than was lost. I can’t say I’m a lucky man for that.
“Football is played to the last second of the game.
“I told the players to play faster after the break and after extra-time to find more lines. It’s why we were creating danger.”
Ancelotti and President Florentino Perez embraced during the celebrations after the final whistle and Ancelotti recounted a story from his appointment.
“Florentino was very happy. The first day I was in the trophy room I told him he was missing one and we have achieved it this year,” Ancelotti revealed.
“To achieve this European Cup we needed the effort of everyone. The club signed very important players and stood with the Coach so I felt very confident.
“We had the peace of mind needed to win games.”
The victory is Ancelotti’s third in the competition as a Coach, having twice won with Milan. Asked for the difference in winning with Milan and Madrid, he argued there were more similarities.
“All finals are difficult. This season was very difficult, but the season was very good,” Ancelotti said.
“I had a great group of professionals and first year players. Marcelo was not happy to not play this game and at the end was a key player. I think all the finals are the same.
“2005? The difference is easy. There we lost, here we won,” the Coach added with a laugh.
“This season we won the most important competition in the world. The season is very good.
“We had gone down in bit in Champions League semi-finals. I have to thank these players.”
It was Bale who scored the goal that put Madrid in front for the first time and Ancelotti commended the Wales international on his contribution.
“It was very important. He failed to score with previous shots but was instrumental in the moment of truth,” he said.
Ancelotti was also asked what he said to Simeone after the match.
“I congratulated him on his season and on the League. There is a lot of respect,” Ancelotti confirmed.
“They didn’t win but they fought all the time. Atletico deserved this final.”