Carlo Ancelotti is relishing the opportunity to take his Bayern Munich side back to old haunt Real Madrid
Bayern Munich’s Champions League quarter-final showdown with Real Madrid will be a special occasion for Carlo Ancelotti.
The Bayern boss led Madrid to “La Decima” – their much-celebrated 10th European Cup/Champions League title – when they beat city rivals Atletico Madrid 4-1 after extra time in the 2014 final in Lisbon.
He is now seeking a repeat of the Bundesliga champions’ 2013 treble and will have to overcome some familiar faces – including former assistant and current Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane – if he is to keep that dream alive.
“The match against Real Madrid will be special for me. It is going to be exciting to play against them,” Ancelotti told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.
“We have a lot of confidence and want to win the Champions League this season.
“I think we have the ability to beat Real Madrid. But they have a fantastic team with a fantastic coach.”
Zidane led Madrid to glory on Europe’s biggest stage once more last year, again at Atletico’s expense, fewer than six months after replacing Rafael Benitez as head coach.
Ancelotti has three Champions League winners’ medals, having bested the continent’s elite twice while in charge of AC Milan, while Bayern were in rampant form as they dispatched Arsenal 5-1 home and away in a dominant last-16 showing.
“It’s difficult but there are no simple opponents in the quarter-finals,” Ancelotti added. “It is very exciting to return to Madrid but it is just a football match. We want to be the better team against Real.”
Douglas Costa is injured and will miss the Monchengladbach game, when the defending champions will arrive at Borussia Park with a 10-point advantage at the summit.
Jerome Boateng is in line for more action having returned from shoulder surgery with a substitute appearance against Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend, although he was left out of Joachim Low’s Germany squad to face England and Azerbaijan on Ancelotti’s advice.
“I spoke with Joachim Low,” he explained. “I told him that Boateng is fit, but he still needs time to improve his physical condition.”