I can't forget two matches against Liverpool - but now they keep me going to win at Real Madrid

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti
-Credit: (Image: Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Carlo Ancelotti, the legendary Champions League manager, has opened up about the highs and lows of his illustrious career with Liverpool playing a big role in both.

Despite being the most decorated manager in the history of the competition with an unparalleled six titles to his name as both player and coach, two particular finals continue to linger in his thoughts. The Real Madrid boss, now 64 years old, was at the helm of AC Milan during their infamous defeat to Liverpool in the 2005 final in Istanbul, a match often hailed as the most enthralling comeback in club football history.

Ancelotti also had ties to the Roma team defeated by Liverpool in the 1984 final, although he was sidelined due to injury for the actual game. These pivotal moments remain as indelible in his memory as the triumphs that have spurred him on in pursuit of further accolades.

The astonishing comeback by Liverpool in Istanbul 19 years ago, where they overturned a 3-0 deficit at halftime to triumph on penalties, serves as a stark reminder of the emotional rollercoaster and drama inherent in any final showdown.

With Real Madrid boasting a record 14 Champions League trophies and eyeing their 15th, Ancelotti is on the cusp of potentially clinching his fifth managerial victory in the elite competition.

Reflecting on his journey, the former Chelsea manager remarked, "I've felt the greatest emotions in this competition my greatest positive emotions as well as my greatest negative emotions."

READ MORE: Premier League rival bowed at Michael Edwards’ feet as CEO eyes two more huge Liverpool deals

READ MORE: Steven Gerrard sheds new light on Jordan Henderson's Saudi Arabia nightmare after Liverpool exit

He continued: "I can't forget the [1984] final we lost against Liverpool when I was at Roma, nor the other final we lost against Liverpool in 2005 [as coach of Milan]. But there are also many positive memories. Passion certainly prevails, and that's what keeps me going."

Ancelotti added: "We're really happy to play in yet another final. The nerves will come, but we aim to let them come as late as possible. We have to seize this moment, this huge match, the most beautiful match of the year, and also the most beautiful to experience."

With his signature cool demeanour and calm approach, Ancelotti exemplifies the modern manager balancing tactics and human relations. His winning formula at Santiago Bernabeu has earned him immense popularity among the squad.

Even so, Ancelotti emphasises that he's had to adapt as a coach, asserting that what was successful years ago would now be ridiculed in any dressing room. He underscored the importance of teamwork, creating a balanced squad blending youth and experience, with veterans like Luka Modric and Toni Kroos shepherding the younger cohort.

Offering insight into his coaching philosophy, he said, "It is very important to keep learning because life changes and football changes, and it's crucial to keep up-to-date. Relationships with colleagues and exchanging ideas with them is also very important. If I proposed what I used to do 20 years ago as a coach, everyone would take me for a fool because things change, the methods and training change, so you have to keep up with the times.

"The main attribute the team has demonstrated this year is a cohesive attitude, as well as focus and teamwork. In spite of some difficulties early on, it's been an excellent season and the tightness and professionalism of the group got us through all the challenges."