UEFA Champions League English

Carlo Ancelotti startlingly admits to nerves ahead of Real Madrid’s clash with Man City

Spanish giants Real Madrid renew rivalries with reigning European champions Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final meeting at the Bernabeu on Tuesday evening.

Carlo Ancelloti has admitted to nerves among the Real Madrid  ranks ahead of their Champions League rematch with Manchester City.

The two sides come together on Tuesday evening for the first leg of their quarter-final showdown at the Santiago Bernabeu. It is the latest meeting in a long list of thrilling clashes between the two sides in recent seasons. Ahead of Tuesday’s game, Ancelotti has revealed that his side are not feeling totally confident. Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Italian said: “Yes, very nervous.

“The hours before a match are a time when you have to suffer. I was thinking the other day that defeat is suffering and victory is happiness, but it’s not that way. Victory is relief.

“It’s happiness if you win trophies, but an isolated victory is a relief. You’re calmer and happier the days after, but suffering is part of your job. It’s what keeps you alive. It’s fuel for me.”

Man City got the better of the Madridistas the last time the two met. They squared off in the Champions League semi-finals last term. After a 1-1 draw in Spain, Pep Guardiola and his merry men cruised to a convincing 4-0 victory at the Etihad. Bernardo Silva scored twice that day, while Julian Alvarez and an own goal from Eder Militao saw Real slump to a miserable defeat.

Recounting that particular clash, Ancelotti explained: “We didn’t play with courage and personality, which are fundamental aspects in this kind of game. We lacked that in the second leg.

“They put a lot of pressure on us up front and we didn’t find alternative solutions. We want to avoid these things in this tie.

“I’m confident we’re going to give our best. We have the quality to compete. We expect to be superior in some aspects and they will be superior in others.”

City’s win against Real set them on their way to finally ending their long wait for their first-ever European title. Their victory secured them a spot in the final where they squeezed past Italian giants Inter Milan.

Their upcoming opponents Real come into the game in scintillating form. They have lost just two games in all competitions this term – their most recent reverse coming against cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid in mid-January.

Elsewhere, Guardiola’s side have also put together a brilliant run of results. They are undefeated in each of their last 25 games in all competitions. City have not lost a Champions League game since their reverse at the hands of Real Madrid back in May 2022.