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Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid ready for Champions League Leipzig challenge

Real Madrid, 14-time winners, are ready for their knockout phase return, with first Champions League contest taking place today against RB Leipzig

Real Madrid’s head Coach Carlo Ancelotti at the semi-finals of the Champions League on May 13, 2015. — AFP 

Real Madrid’s head coach, Carlo Ancelotti, has reignited the fervour for the Champions League, labeling it as the competition the club “likes the most.” 

The 14-time champions are on the brink of their knockout phase return, with Ancelotti, the UCL’s most successful head coach, leading the charge.

As the 2023/2024 campaign looms, Real Madrid get themselves geared up for a formidable last 16 clash against RB Leipzig. Ancelotti, driven by an unwavering passion for his craft and deep admiration for his squad, declared, “I like what I do and where I do it. This is my motivation. And now the competition that this club likes the most is back.”

Amidst a litany of injuries, Ancelotti remains resolute, saying, “I see a solid, motivated team with no complaints… So far so good, despite everything we’ve been through.” 

The head coach’s refusal to let injuries be a hindrance underscores the squad’s determination to overcome challenges on their path to European glory.

In addition to steering Real Madrid through a challenging season, Ancelotti orchestrates a seamless “generational transition.” Veterans like Modric and Kroos are gracefully making room for emerging talents like Fede Valverde and Jude Bellingham. 

Ancelotti stressed the significance of this shift, saying, “It’s natural, you don’t have to push it. There are legends that have left, others stay… The basis is the lack of ego of the veterans, which has allowed the youngsters to adapt well to the squad and the club.”

Kroos, a midfield linchpin, currently commands significant playing time. Ancelotti, acknowledging the German’s impact, remarked, “He harnesses the energy of the young people. His passing percentage is the same as it was 10 years ago.” 

Commenting on the Real Madrid’s hopes for the Champions League campaign, Midfielder Toni Kroos said, “I don’t know if we are the favourites, but we are in a good position to win the title.”

“But as we’ve seen in previous years, a bad day is enough to be booted out. It’s a difficult title to win.”


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