LIVE: 'Fear will come' in David and Goliath final

LIVE: 'Fear will come' in David and Goliath final

Carlo Ancelotti is going into his eighth Champions League final, having won all but one of them.

He is the most successful coach in the competition thanks to four titles.

He also lifted two European trophies as a player.

There is no lack of experience for the veteran Real Madrid manager.

But there is still plenty of anxiety and fear for Ancelotti ahead of yet another big game.

Carlo Ancelotti gives instructions. Getty

“It’s the same as it was the first time,” the 64-year-old said ahead of Saturday’s final against Borussia Dortmund in London.

“First there is the joy of being here, then the concerns will come and the fear will come,” he said.

“But before they come we have to enjoy this week and I’m going to enjoy it. The cold sweat will arrive Saturday afternoon (Sunday AEST), it’s normal, I’m already prepared for it. And this team gives me a lot of confidence, I see them focused on the match, they are in champions mode.”

Ancelotti won the Champions League with Madrid in 2022 and 2014, and with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007.

He lost the 2005 edition with AC Milan in a final in a penalty shootout against Liverpool after squandering a 3-0 lead.

His European triumphs as a player came with Milan in 1989 and 1990.

He was also in the squad with Roma when it reached the 1984 final but he sat out injured.

Ancelotti said he will stick to his routine before the final at Wembley Stadium.

“I’m a bit superstitious but it’s very normal. I was told that it’s bad luck not to be superstitious,” he said.

“I like to eat broccoli, salmon and pasta, and that’s what I’ll eat. Then I’ll have an hour’s nap, if I’m able to. And then I’ll start thinking about the match. Before the talk with the players, my heart will start to rise to 110 or 120 beats. It’ll stay up there until the start of the game, and when it starts it will go back to its normal rhythm.”

Real Madrid lifts the Champions League trophy. Getty

Ancelotti said some of his most memorable Champions League highlights are linked to his time with Madrid, including the incredible run in 2022, when it had to rally several times to make it to the final.

He also mentioned the late comeback in the semi-final against Bayern Munich a few weeks ago, when Joselu scored in the 88th minute and in stoppage time.

Ancelotti said this season was especially difficult because of the long list of injuries to some of the team’s key players, including serious knee problems to Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao and David Alaba.

Also missing time because of injuries were Vinicius Junior, Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni.

“Attitude and commitment have been the key to overcoming all the problems we’ve had,” Ancelotti said.

“That’s what allowed us to have a fantastic season.”

Madrid, which also won the Spanish league and the Spanish Super Cup, is trying to win its sixth European Cup in 10 seasons, matching a feat the club also achieved from 1955-65.

Ancelotti said he prides himself more about the way he has managed his locker rooms than his teams’ tactics over the years.

“Personal relationships are more important than professional relationships,” he said.

“I’m not a psychologist but I’m experienced as I’ve worked for many years in locker rooms. I try to treat people with respect not only in tactical aspects but also in personal aspects. I’m in an environment with 50 people and I spend more time with them than with my wife and children. So if there are not good relationships and there is not a good atmosphere, then I’m not doing my job.”

Thibaut Courtois of Real Madrid celebrates. Getty

Ancelotti also confirmed that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will start after Andriy Lunin was struck down by flu this week.

Ancelotti had said he had a difficult decision to make after Courtois missed most of the season through injury and Lunin helped Madrid to the Spanish title as the understudy.

But Lunin was unable to travel with the rest of the squad to London because of illness.

Courtois was outstanding in the final when Madrid last won the Champions League in 2022, but has missed much of the campaign after rupturing his left knee ligament in August.

He then ruptured the meniscus in his right knee in March.

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