Former Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has stated that he has the memories of lifting the club’s tenth ever Champions League etched in his memory.
It was a trophy that Los Blancos were eager to land and eventually managed to do so in Lisbon five years ago after an enthralling 4-1 win over rivals Atletico Madrid.
Ancelotti admits that the magnitude of the final was well noted in the days leading up to the game but it was something he aimed to use to spur his side on.
“The day before [the final] we were calm.
“We knew that what was at stake was very important, that the motivation of the club was maximum, that it was the great objective, but we had to turn the pressure we felt into a motivation for the final,” he said.
“There were no nerves, really, we were very calm, with our heads on the game.”
The Italian was not keen on any surprises and opted to emulate a Copa del Rey win over Los Rojiblancos.
“We looked at everything that happened in the Copa game that we played with them and that we won 3-0, we tried to repeat everything, movements, tactics… we had a good reference,” he stated.
Suffering and joy was what Ancelotti remembered of a match that eventually ended in glory for him and his team.
“Everything went the way we wanted to. It’s true that we suffered more than we expected, that the equaliser did not arrive until the 90th minute, but we cannot blame the team’s game.
“We played football until the end, we created chances, we controlled the game but it did not arrive.
“It’s true that in the end we were lucky, but we deserved it,” Ancelotti noted.
Diego Godin‘s goal for Atletico looked set to be the difference maker until Sergio Ramos‘ now infamous later header took the game to extra time, and the current Napoli boss had faith that it would arrive.
“I never think about what’s going to happen in a play, but I did have confidence that the goal was going to come.
“It was the last chance, but I trusted my players, I knew that if they had it they would not fail.
“In the end Modric and Ramos appeared, I had confidence in what we were doing,” Ancelotti said.
Despite its significance, it was one that he could not celebrate.
“I could not [celebrate], the game was still going on, we had to play extra time.
“I had to prepare for it with players like Di Maria very physically troubled.
“The morale was on the up and that’s what I was relying on, but we had to prepare everything well,” he said.
The best memory was when he and the squad returned to Madrid.
“We arrived very late to Madrid and I did not expect anything special, but seeing so many people on the streets celebrating the trophy is something I cannot forget for the rest of my life,” Ancelotti revealed.
“Cibeles was full, all the streets around too, fans everywhere.
“It is something that will be engraved in my memory for a lifetime, I enjoyed my time at Real Madrid.“