Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti on an incredible season and his side's UEFA Super Cup meeting with Frankfurt – interview
Thursday, August 4, 2022
"There are six titles at stake, and we want to fight for all of them," the Real Madrid coach tells UEFA.com – starting with the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday 10 August.
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Having led Real Madrid to UEFA Champions League glory in his first spell in charge in 2014, Carlo Ancelotti returned to the Spanish capital in 2021 to guide Los Blancos to Spanish Liga, Supercopa and UEFA Champions League success. "Anything but favourites" to win the European title, but armed with Karim Benzema in the form of his life, they pulled off comebacks against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City before edging Liverpool in the final.
The only coach to have won the UEFA Champions League four times (also with AC Milan in 2002/03 and 2006/07), Ancelotti has also captured the UEFA Super Cup on each of his three attempts. The 63-year-old is now setting his sights on a fourth trophy as his side face UEFA Europa Cup winners Frankfurt, 62 years after beating them 7-3 in the 1960 European Cup final in Glasgow.
The Madrid coach looks ahead to the season curtain-raiser in Helsinki, remarks on an "incredible" campaign last term, and explains how the club have signed two players "among the best in the world in their role".
On the importance of winning the Super Cup
We have a few more disadvantages than Eintracht, who start their season earlier, but we'll play to win. We look forward and not back. Last year's victories reinforce what we believe, but we need to focus on the upcoming matches. During this coming season, there are six titles at stake, and we want to fight for all of them.
On what to expect from Frankfurt
Last year, Eintracht achieved something special because they weren't among the favourites. They played great games, winning against Barcelona at Camp Nou by playing a counterattacking style of football, with huge attention to defence and high-speed transitions.
On being the first four-time Champions League-winning coach and winning titles in all of Europe's top five leagues
I am extremely proud of all that. It was an incredible season for me, as well as for Real Madrid. Naturally, coming back to Real Madrid has been extremely gratifying for me. For me, it's important to continue being the coach of this big club and this great team.
On the players' motivation
We're ready. The team is looking in great shape already. The joy and satisfaction you get after such wins [in the Champions League final] tends to stick around, making you feel like no one should ever take your place. And that's a pretty strong motivation to keep winning.
On those Champions League comebacks
It's a very fresh memory and there was also a very special chemistry with the supporters and the stadium. All the comebacks we made were achieved in our stadium, thanks to that boost which came from the stands. Always believe, never give up. After all, we played against very strong teams. It was inevitable that we would suffer.
On the difference between La Décima and last season's Champions League victory
In 2014, La Décima was probably more predictable because the team had been close to achieving it so many times already. Gareth Bale had just joined us and we were favourites to win the title from the start.
This year, we were anything but favourites, but we still managed to win, thanks to the great cohesion and quality of the team. I think the key factors were the humbleness and experience of the older players, complemented by the energy and enthusiasm of the younger ones.
On the arrivals of Aurélien Tchouameni and Antonio Rüdiger, and Madrid's summer departures
I believe we've got two players who are among the best in the world in their role. First of all, their quality increases the team's physical and technical ability. Then there is [the need to] adapt to the group and the group adapting to them a bit.
We must not forget that the three who left, Marcelo, Isco and Bale, have made history for this club in recent years, so the whole of Real Madrid is grateful to those players. We hope the newcomers can repeat the exploits of those who have left.