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Ancelotti: “When we played a lot of time when I was in Madrid against Messi—who was one of the best opponents—don’t talk about Messi to the players.”

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The former Madrid manager talks about his Messi preparation tactics for Manchester City

Real Madrid CF v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Second Leg Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Former Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti revealed how he has prepared his Everton side for their FA Cup match against Manchester City (Liverpool Echo).

“When we played a lot of time when I was in Madrid against Messi—who was one of the best opponents—don’t talk about Messi to the players.”

“They are going to be scared. I try not to talk too much about Manchester City. Everyone knows the players and the quality of the individuals and the quality of the team. Focus on what you have to do. I am satisfied because this week it worked well.”

Here, Ancelotti talks about how he has trained for an entire top-tier team using the tactics he employed at Real Madrid to prepare for Lionel Messi and El Clasico. It’s a bold strategy as it likely taught Real to focus on the entire team over a standout individual. Still, it’s hard to forget that one of the world’s best is facing your club on the other side of the pitch.

Right now, Everton and City are sitting at a 0-0 score at the half of the FA Cup quarter-finals. We’ll see if Ancelotti’s preparation leads to the Toffees pulling off the upset and moving through to the semi-finals.