Real Madrid are champions of Europe once more and without Carlo Ancelotti, they wouldn’t be there. Sceptics and critics were numerous upon his arrival but have fallen away as he secured a historic La Liga and Champions League double.
Speaking after that victory, Ancelotti was understandably euphoric.
“I think we came out of a difficult match. We suffered a little in the first half. The commitment was perfect. Very happy.”
Diario AS covered the remarks he made to TV3, in which the Italian claimed that the Champions League final went exactly to plan.
Ancelotti was asked if he had seen a goalkeeper make saves like it before.
“Yes, I’ve seen it before. From Courtois. He’s had a fantastic season.”
“This is Real Madrid, full stop.”
Whether the game plan involved quite so much of Courtois is a nebulous debate, but there is a certain truth to his words. It did seem throughout the match that Real Madrid felt comfortable, even at times when they were suffering. In fact, it’s arguably been their greatest virtue throughout this Champions League.