Football: Real Madrid happy to prove critics incorrect, says Ancelotti

MANCHESTER (REUTERS) – Real Madrid are delighted to have reached the Champions League semi-finals after the criticism and lack of religion proven in direction of them for many of the season, stated supervisor Carlo Ancelotti.

The 13-time European champions are getting ready to face Manchester City within the first leg on Tuesday (April 26).

“I surely remember what all the pundits were saying at the beginning of the season,” the Italian informed a information convention on the Etihad Stadium on Monday. “There are clearly two groups within the semi-finals that everybody was betting towards and they’re us and Villarreal.

“Two teams got here as underdogs, (Real) beating favourites like Paris St Germain, the holders Chelsea, (Villarreal knocking out) Juventus and Bayern Munich. I always say that Real Madrid are going to compete no matter what against anyone.”

Villarreal face Liverpool at Anfield of their semi-final first leg on Wednesday.

Ancelotti stated there have been blended emotions within the Real dressing room – happiness at getting this far however worries in regards to the stress of going through tough opponents in Premier League leaders City, the English champions.

“Our history, having won 13 titles in this competition, makes things easier for the players because they feel how heavy in a positive way the Real Madrid jersey weighs in a Champions League game,” Ancelotti stated.

“They feel capable of anything, like they did fighting back to qualify against PSG and Chelsea. Real Madrid’s history means a lot to us. More than for the rivals.”

Real midfielder Federico Valverde agreed. “When you wear this shirt you want to win it all and you feel like you are always the favourite to win it all, despite what other people think,” Valverde, 23, informed a information convention.

“It’s a responsibility but it’s an advantage because your rivals will always look at you differently because you’re Real Madrid. I agree with what (City manager) Pep Guardiola said earlier (that his side have to compete with the history of Real Madrid). Our history weighs heavily.”

Ancelotti has query marks over the health of three gamers for Tuesday’s sport.

Left again Ferland Mendy skilled properly on Sunday and must be accessible however there are doubts about how prepared left again David Alaba and midfielder Casemiro shall be.

“We feel more confident and optimistic with Alaba. We’ll see how he performs in training later on Monday. But Casemiro is still recovering and if he can’t go on Tuesday, he should be available for next week no doubt about it,” he stated.

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