Carlo Ancelotti explains why Real Madrid are the most successful club in European football

Manchester City face Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday evening.

It’s a mouth-watering clash between two of the finest sides in Europe. The kind of game the Champions League is all about.

Carlo Ancelotti is expected to set his team up in a 4-3-3.

That’s according to Marca, who believe the Italian will start Thibaut Courtois in goal behind a back four of Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba and Ferland Mendy.

Toni Kroos will anchor the midfield with Fede Valverde and Luka Modric either side of him. Karim Benzema will lead the line flanked by Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior.

Pep Guardiola, on the other hand, should also set up in a 4-3-3.

Ederson will start in goal behind a back four of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake.

Rodri will anchor the midfield with Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne either side of him. Bernardo Silva will lead the line as a false nine flanked by Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden.

Ancelotti loves being back at the sharp end of European football. He left Everton to re-join Madrid during the summer and has done stellar work in both La Liga and the Champions League.

“I’m aware that I coach the most important club in the world,” the Italian said pre-match to Jorge Valdano as carried by Marca.

“The demand is very high and I have to accept it. I never thought I was going to return to Madrid. I enjoy it despite the criticism.

“I really like football, it’s my passion, but I try to keep things as simple as possible. There are two aspects: defending and attacking. Creativity and organisation.

“I think I can give players more defensively. Offensively is more to do with talent and I don’t want to obfuscate this talent. I can’t teach Karim where to stand in the box or Modric how to pass.

“I’m full of pride to be coaching Real Madrid.

“It’s something special, like with Milan. I feel very loved. I try to do my best and sometimes I make mistakes like everyone else.

“This is a club that never stops. Here you can’t celebrate because you have to look forward. There’s no pride if things don’t go well.

“That’s why this is the club that has won the most.”

Tags Carlo Ancelotti Champions League La Liga Manchester City Real Madrid
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