Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti says his side are “excited, eager, and motivated” for Wednesday’s clash with Paris Saint-Germain, calling upon his players to harness the Bernabeu’s fiery atmosphere but keep on top of any nerves.
LaLiga leaders Madrid go into their crucial home leg against PSG 1-0 down thanks to Kylian Mbappe’s stunning winner at the Parc des Princes, with their hopes of winning a 14th European title this term hanging by a thread.
Madrid have been eliminated from nine of their last 10 knockout ties in the UEFA Champions League when losing the first leg, with the exception being a 3-2 aggregate victory over VfL Wolfsburg in the 2015-16 quarter-finals.
But Ancelotti, who has lifted European club football’s foremost prize three times as a coach, insists that his team are approaching the game in good spirits.
“We are preparing for the game now,” the 62-year-old said.
“Everyone is motivated and it’s obvious, from the coach’s point of view, that it’s important to be aware of the atmosphere [in the group] to make sure it isn’t too nervous.
“These players are used to games like this.
“I know exactly what the Bernabeu is like and we’re even more motivated.
“We know perfectly well we’re not playing this game by ourselves because the whole of Madridismo is behind us, driving us forward, and that makes us stronger.”
48 hours. pic.twitter.com/ePnAHP1YRq
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) March 7, 2022
The Spanish giants warmed up in ideal fashion last time out, thrashing Real Sociedad 4-1 thanks to goals from Eduardo Camavinga, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, and Marco Asensio.
“We’ve come away from the Real Sociedad game feeling a lot stronger,” Ancelotti added.
“It all went well and we’re very excited, eager and motivated.”
Real Madrid have only lost one of their five previous home games against PSG in European competition, a 1-0 reverse in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1993-94, picking up victories in each of the other four Bernabeu meetings.
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