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Carlo Ancelotti Faces Mixed Emotions Ahead of Champions League Final

Real Madrid is gearing up for a monumental clash against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final on Saturday, and all eyes are on their seasoned coach, Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian manager, renowned for his unparalleled success in Europe, is about to lead his team into his eighth Champions League final. With a remarkable track record, Ancelotti has managed to clinch four titles out of his previous seven attempts, making him the most successful coach in the competition’s history.

Real Madrid players are intensely training in Madrid as they prepare for the high-stakes match at Wembley Stadium. The mood in the camp is one of focused anticipation, reflecting the mixed emotions of their leader. Ancelotti, who has also won two European trophies as a player, brings an immense wealth of experience to the table. Despite this, he can’t shake off the anxiety that comes with such a significant fixture.

“It’s the same as it was the first time,” said the 64-year-old Ancelotti, reflecting on his emotional state as Real Madrid reaches the final week of preparations. “First, there’s the joy of being here, then the concerns and the fear will come,” he admitted. “But before they come, we have to enjoy this week, and I’m going to enjoy it.”

Ancelotti’s sense of preparation extends beyond just tactics on the field. He is known for his superstitions and pre-match rituals. “I like to eat broccoli, salmon, and pasta, and that’s what I’ll eat,” Ancelotti shared. “Then I’ll have an hour’s nap, if I’m able to. And then I’ll start thinking about the match. Before the talk with the players, my heart will rise to 110 or 120 beats. It’ll stay up there until the start of the game, and when it starts, it will go back to its normal rhythm.”

Ancelotti’s illustrious career boasts Champions League victories with Real Madrid in 2022 and 2014, and with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007. However, even a manager of his caliber is not immune to the pressure. Though 2005 is a year he would rather forget, having lost in the final with AC Milan against Liverpool after squandering a 3-0 lead, it serves as a poignant reminder of the unpredictability and intensity of European football.

He’s no stranger to these finals even as a player.

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. In 1989 and 1990, he triumphed in European competitions with Milan. He also witnessed the heartbreak of missing Roma’s final match in 1984 due to injury.

With days to go before the grand showdown, the atmosphere within the Real Madrid camp remains cautiously optimistic. Ancelotti emphasizes the importance of mental readiness. “This team gives me a lot of confidence, I see them focused on the match, they are in Champions [League] mode,” he remarked.

In an exclusive press conference, Ancelotti also touched on the importance of maintaining a good balance between enjoying the journey and gearing up for the battle ahead. “The cold sweat will arrive on Saturday afternoon, it’s normal, I’m already prepared for it,” he said. “I’ve been in this position several times, but the emotions never really change.”

He reiterated that while experience can guide him and his players can rely on it, every match has its unique pressures. “Experience helps, but each game brings its own set of challenges. You learn to manage your emotions better, but the anticipation and fear are always there,” Ancelotti added.

The contrast of emotions—joy and fear—is evident as Ancelotti and his squad prepare for one of the biggest matches of the year. His approach, blending meticulous preparation with personal rituals, aims to put him and his team in the best possible mind frame before they step onto the Wembley pitch.

As the countdown to the final day continues, Madridistas worldwide share in the thrill and tension. The match promises not just a spectacle of elite football but also a testament to Ancelotti’s tactical prowess and leadership under pressure.

The final is more than just a game; it’s a chapter in the storied career of one of football’s greatest managers, a blend of history, experience, and raw emotion. As Ancelotti himself says, it’s vital to cherish these moments and the journey, even as the game’s inherent uncertainties loom large.

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