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Ancelotti: “Fede Valverde is training well, I’m sure he’ll give his all vs Chelsea”

The coach previewed the first leg against the English side.


Carlo Ancelotti held his pre-match press conference on Tuesday to preview the Chelsea first leg, speaking moments after David Alaba’s player press conference. The coach started off by discussing the tie as a whole and the fact that Real Madrid don’t have the advantage of having the second leg at home this time.

He said: “We have to think about these ties differently than last year and we need to try to make the first legs count. It’s a 180-minute tie, so the first leg isn’t decisive, but it can give us an advantage to manage the second leg better. Rather than attacking or conservative, we’re looking to have a complete performance. We’re excited for another magical night in the Bernabéu tomorrow. Then we’ll go away. Even last year we did do well away, apart from the PSG first leg.”

Ancelotti on returning to Chelsea

The suggestion of returning to Chelsea to become coach of the Blues once again was put to Ancelotti, but he quickly dismissed that. He said: “I am a supporter of Chelsea, of course. I liked all the people I met who were working there. Go back? No. I hope that Lampard is able to do a fantastic job with them. He doesn’t have the experience that I have, which is normal because I’m 20 years older, but he was a great player and I was able to coach him for a couple of years. He knows what it takes to win these kinds of games. I’m sure he’ll do a good job there at Chelsea. They have a great team with great players.”

Ancelotti on a potential final against AC Milan

After Paolo Maldini revealed that Ancelotti is hoping for a Real Madrid vs AC Milan final in Istanbul, so that at least one of them can avenge the ghosts of 2005, this was put to the coach, along with the fact that the final will take place on his birthday. Ancelotti stated: “For me and Paolo, Istanbul isn’t a good memory. So, we still remember that. I love Maldini, who was a teammate of mine and a player for me. If we can meet on my birthday, that would be a good sign.”

Ancelotti on managing the Real Madrid squad

Discussing the squad and his man-management skills, Ancelotti responded: “We have a good group. They understand when it’s time for jokes and when it’s time to be serious. For a coach, managing this group is very simple. Everybody says I’m great at man-management, but this team is also well-drilled. If we win the Copa del Rey, we’ll have won all possible titles over two seasons. Some clubs can’t win all of this titles over their entire existence.”

Ancelotti on Fede Valverde’s focus

Asked how focused Fede Valverde is, following the incident with Alex Baena, the coach replied: “He looks good and is training well with the rest of his teammates. He has great human qualities. I’m sure that tomorrow he’ll give his all, as he always does. I won’t comment more on this situation.”

Ancelotti on Alaba’s position

After Alaba was also asked what his best position is, Ancelotti commented too and said: “Right now Alaba is doing well as a centre-back, which is where he has played since returning from his injury. He has played well there.”

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