Carlo Ancelotti insists weight of Real Madrid shirt ‘positive, not negative’ ahead of Manchester City clash

UEFA Champions League - Real Madrid press conference

Real Madrid will relish the pressure that comes with their UEFA Champions League pedigree as they prepare to take on Manchester City in the first leg of their semi-final tie.

Los Blancos had a tough four-legged run to the semi-finals of Europe’s premier tournament, having to step down to beat Paris Saint-Germain and last year’s winners Chelsea.

Speaking at a press conference, Carlo Ancelotti was asked about City manager Pep Guardiola’s comments that his team will be playing history on Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium, with Madrid winning 13 European Cup or Champions League titles, six more than any other team. . .

“Real Madrid’s history in this tournament means a lot to us more than our rivals,” said Ancelotti.

“The story that has grown over the years is helping players to feel the weight of this shirt, it is good, it is not bad.

“The pressure is the same, there is a lot of pressure. In Madrid it is not always successful to reach the semi-finals, we want to reach the finals, which is a success. It is a goal. When it comes,” Real Madrid often have many options to win because of our history. ”

Ancelotti was also asked about the defensive approach taken by Atletico Madrid against City in the quarter-finals and whether he was willing to do the same, to which he replied: “If you don’t have a team with City you will lose, so you have to be strong. . The Defense will play a very important role in tomorrow’s game. ”

The 62-year-old, who saw his Everton side beaten 5-0 on his last visit to the Etihad Stadium at the end of last season, will have to make a decision on the fitness of other players after training, with David Alaba. and Casemiro who may not be in Manchester.

“From what we saw in training yesterday. [Ferland] Mendy is right. We have some doubts about Alaba and, above all, Casemiro,” he added.

“We have more confidence in Alaba than Casemiro. If Casemiro doesn’t play, he will be there [in the second leg].”

Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde also spoke to the media, and like Ancelotti, when asked about the weight of the shirt, Uruguay international said: “If you wear a Real Madrid shirt you want to fight for everything until the last minute. It’s part of Madrid’s history. You’re always a favorite to win it all.”

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