Real Madrid Champions League final preparations

Carlo Ancelotti has repeatedly stated that the key to Real Madrid’s success lies in the humility of the players.

No one has raised their voice during the season and everyone, whether they have won four Champions League trophies or have yet to play in the final of Europe’s biggest club competition, have put their football and their desire to write Real Madrid’s history at the heart of the group.

There is total harmony and the days leading up to the final have served to demonstrate this once more. The coach has decided to listen to the players, as he wanted to know what they think of the final and of Liverpool.

He acknowledged as much in Tuesday’s press conference when he said that perhaps they should be the ones to tell him how to play a game like this, given their experience.

Ancelotti has always leaned on his players and this occasion was no exception. At the media open day, the Italian could be seen talking to Casemiro, one of his most trusted players on the pitch. He wants to listen to his players, to have a big sit-down and gather their ideas. The decision on how to play will always be his.

Videos of the comebacks

From the match against Manchester City it was said that Ancelotti had consulted Toni Kroos and Marcelo about the substitutions to be made, but the reality is that the consultation was to clear up any doubts about the substitution windows already used.

The example is that the coach does not hesitate to look for support, to look to his players in case of any doubt.

Another of the areas that the Real Madrid coach likes to touch on is the emotional side of things.

On the morning of the match against City, the coaching staff decided to show the squad a video of the club’s great comebacks, some of them featuring the same players who had to overcome Pep Guardiola’s team hours later.

On Saturday, they will again watch a video that will remind the players of all they have been through before the final.

In terms of how they have prepared for the final, the week has been a quiet one, but with a lot intensity in the day-to-day work.

Intensity and strength on Tuesday, set pieces on Wednesday, both defensively and offensively, before they finished off with tactical movements at Valdebebas on Thursday morning, like the one shown against City at the start of the second half and inspired by Andoni Iraola’s Rayo Vallecano.

The trip to Paris and the stay in the luxurious hotel chosen for the occasion will be with Florentino Perez at the helm.

The president wants to be with the coach and players from the start of the trip and, although he will attend the dinner organised by UEFA on Friday, he wants those who are going to fight to win Champions League number 14 to feel supported to the extreme. The hotel will be fully booked for Real Madrid, something that did not happen in the last final.

 

They were not close friends before, but since the European Super League conflict broke out UEFA president Alexander Ceferin and Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez have not seen eye to eye.

Neither have seen each other’s face since then, as the UEFA leader has reiterated messages questioning the Real Madrid president for his decision to break with the established order of the competition.

In June, both have a date in court, but the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid will bring about a new meeting between the pair.

The official dinner for the final of Europe’s top club competition will bring together the presidents of UEFA and Real Madrid, something that has not happened in the last two years, first because of the COVID-19 pandemic and then because of the move to announce the creation of the Super League.

As a result of the move, UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the teams involved, but a Madrid court ordered interim injunctions that would have ruled out any penalties, something that was recently suspended by a decision of the same Madrid court.

The process, apart from precautionary measures, is awaiting the European Union court’s ruling on the possible monopoly exercised by UEFA over the competition, as denounced by the Super League. The move has been described by Ceferin himself as “an attempt by a few oligarchs to take over the world of football.”

A reunion with two chapters

At this stage, UEFA could reopen the case that it abandoned as soon as the courts demanded it. No movement is expected, at least in the coming weeks.

Rumours have gone all over the place, but no one expects Ceferin, or rather the UEFA sanctioning body, to drop three teams such as Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona.

The UEFA president knows he has many issues to discuss with Florentino Perez, but he has stated a thousand times that he will not be the one to ask for a meeting with Real Madrid. The reunion will have two chapters – first at the dinner on Friday and then in the presidential box on Saturday afternoon – but no conciliatory gesture is expected from either side :

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The Super League project, as the officials say, is still on the table, but what seems clear is that the two sides are far from coming closer together and are still far apart.

At least until Saturday at the stroke of midnight, the important thing should be the Champions League final and the resolution of a competition in which the two best teams have reached the final match, as the previous knockout rounds have shown.

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