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Ancelotti: “Reaching three semi-finals isn’t easy”

carlo-ancelotti-real-madridReal Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti called for prudence in Tuesday’s press conference as he looked ahead to Wednesday’s Champions League meeting with Schalke.

What kind of game are you anticipating tomorrow?

It’s going to be a match played with great intensity. Schalke will be using everything in their armoury to win, I’ve no doubt about that. They are a quality outfit and are well organized and to beat them, we’ll have to give our best.

Cristiano’s back… will Bale or Jesé join him and Benzema in attack?



Because he’s playing well.

Who will play at full-back on either wing?

We’ll decide on that tomorrow. I need to think which player will be best for this game. It’s just a tactical decision for this game. We’ll see tomorrow.

We have entered the crucial part of the season and winning the Champions League is Madrid’s chief objective. Will you be making any changes to the way you prepare the players for this game?

I won’t be changing anything. I’m here to do my best in every competition. Everyone knows the Champions League is the best competition in the world- and the most difficult. You need everything to win it – including luck. We need to give our maximum in every game. Every game you play is dangerous. We don’t want this good moment of form we’re in to end just yet and we prepare for all of our games in the same way.

Do you think it is Madrid’s turn to win the Champions League after making the semi-finals for the past three years running?

(Laughs) I don’t know! Reaching the semi-finals isn’t easy and if you do make it to the semis, it means that you must have done something right. I don’t know what went wrong [in Madrid’s last three Champions League campaigns] but we are determined to improve on what the team did last season. But making the semi-finals three years on the trot isn’t easy to do.

Is Cristiano especially motivated?

He’s motivated because he is really looking forward to get back playing. He was not happy about not being able to play and he has prepared himself well for this game. Mentally and physically he is in optimum conditions.

What do you make of Schalke?

They are a very well-organized side with young players who have a lot of quality. We’ll see if Meyer or Draxler plays tomorrow. They also have experienced players like Boateng and Huntelaar. They may not be a spectacular side but they are solid and have a good mix of experience and youth; they also have a good system in defence.