Real Madrid Champions League focus gives boss Carlo Ancelotti ‘peace of mind’

Carlo Ancelotti insists his Real Madrid men “ooze confidence” ahead of their Champions League final but admits he still gets pre-match jitters despite his own unparalleled success in the tournament.

Los Blancos meet Borussia Dortmund on Saturday night at Wembley, where Ancelotti could add to his four Champions League trophies as a coach, already more than any other boss in the history of the competition.

Though he is now 40 years removed from his first European Cup final appearance with Roma in 1984, the 64-year-old feels little has changed when it comes to his personal experience of the build-up.

He said: “The days leading up to the final are always the same. Plenty of excitement, because it’s the biggest game of the season for everyone involved. We’re happy to be a part of this final, and there are goosebumps, like my first time.

“Three as a player, sixth final as a manager. Happy to be here, the worries will come later on, and maybe that fear, but until then I’m going to enjoy the moment.

“Saturday afternoon, that’s when the fear arrives. Of course I’ve got experience, being here before.

“I look at my team and they ooze confidence. I can see them totally focused on this final. It gives you peace of mind.”

Ancelotti downplayed the suggestion that his side, looking to extend their record eight Champions League final wins, will be the favourites on Saturday.

Bellingham's boss won't be plying his summer signing for secretsCity v Real Madrid – UEFA Champions League – Quarter-Final – Second Leg – Etihad Stadium
Jude Bellingham’s boss won’t be plying his summer signing for secrets (Martin Rickett/PA)

He has also largely resisted the temptation to grill information out of England international Jude Bellingham, who joined the LaLiga champions from BVB last summer.

Ancelotti explained: “No, no. Of course he’s a former Dortmund player, but there’s no need to ask too much about his ex club because there’s a lot of information out there. We’ve seen all their games. We’ve studied our opponents well.”

For now it’s business as usual in training, as Ancelotti looks forward to a preferred pre-final meal of “Broccoli, salmon and pasta. A siesta, for now, if I can sleep, that is, and then just focusing on the game.

“I have a good week to prepare. The instructions need to be very clear so they know exactly what needs to be done.

“I think that’s the best way to eliminate any stress or tension, because (it’s something) you can control.

“We’re going to have to fight hard, get stuck in, it’s not going to be easy. (On the day) the heart starts beating faster, starts racing, but when the game starts you kind of relax again.”