Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid’s Spanish coach, acknowledged that his team is not the first candidate to win the Champions League title during the current season, and nominated English Manchester City to retain the title.
Real Madrid will begin the campaign to regain the title of its favorite tournament, which it holds the record for the number of wins (14), when tomorrow, Wednesday, it welcomes its guest, Union Berlin, in the first round of the third group competitions for the group stage.
Ancelotti said – in a press conference today – “Our goal is to compete until the end, but before that, we must first pass the group stage, then the round of 16, then the quarter-finals.”
He added, “Being among the top four would be great. We will not put more pressure on ourselves, and I believe we can achieve that.”
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The 64-year-old coach continued, “The most prominent candidate to win the title is Manchester City. It is a wonderful team that won the championship last season, but there may be surprises in the final stage of the tournament.”
Real Madrid was eliminated from the semi-finals of the tournament last season (2022-2023) with a heavy loss to Manchester City, amounting to 1-5 on aggregate, before the “Citizens” continued their path to the title by defeating Italian Inter Milan in the final with a score of 1. -zero.
Ancelotti stressed the need for his team to make a good start in the tournament, at the same time warning his players of the danger of the German team. He said, “The Champions League is a special competition for us. We want to start the group stage well, and tomorrow we have the opportunity to do that.” “Union Berlin is a very organized and strong team. It is true that they do not have stars, but they play as one team. We will need a lot of strength to overcome them.”
During Real Madrid’s first match in the Champions League, Ancelotti will lose the services of captain Dani Carvajal, who missed the team’s group training due to a muscle injury, according to Spanish reports.
In this regard, the Italian explained that “Carvajal has an overload, and we prefer not to risk it. He will undergo medical examinations tomorrow, and I think he will be ready for the derby match,” referring to the match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid scheduled for next Sunday in the sixth round of the Spanish League. .
The Champions League draw placed Real Madrid in Group C, alongside Union Berlin, Napoli, the Italian League champion last season, and Sporting Braga of Portugal.