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Marcelino: “It is more difficult to counter attack Real Madrid this season”

The Athletic Club manager shares his thoughts on beating Real Madrid ahead of the final on Sunday

Real Madrid CF v Athletic Club - La Liga Santander Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Athletic Club manager Marcelino met Carlo Ancelotti today in Riyadh to take some obligatory photos and share some laughs with the Italian. Both sets of coaches also spoke to the media as part of their pre-game pressers. Ancelotti’s quotes are here; Marcelino’s most relevant comments are below.

Marcelino spoke about many things, mostly about Athletic’s state. Among the topics, he spoke about Real Madrid’s season, the tactical battle, and why he doesn’t look at the recent Clasico as a reference point on how to beat Real Madrid.

“We have had two recent experiences with Madrid, and that is the best reference,” Ancelotti said. “Barça has a different idea of ​​the game from ours. Our counterattack is a weapon. In San Mamés we lost the ball and scored a goal. Madrid didn’t generate much trouble for us. We’ll try to be effective and repeat that. Football is defined in details and hopefully they favour us with a rival like Madrid.

“This season Real Madrid use the counter attack more. It is more difficult to counter attack them”

“Madrid got off to a powerful start,” Marcelino explained from their previous encounter. “In six minutes they penalized us at San Mamés. We have to avoid these situations. You have to be at a high level to try not to concede a goal. They are a super powerful team, as shown by the fact that they only lost three of 17 finals. If we allow them to get ahead... it will be more difficult. We come back from the Atletico game with energy. To win we have to be at the highest level.”