Tuesday, May 17

Carlo Ancelotti believes there are no favourites to win Champions League

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has insisted his team have the quality to win La Liga, but only to compete for the Champions League this season.

Los Blancos secured top spot in Group D on Tuesday night with an impressive 2-0 win at home to Inter, preventing the Nerazzurri from leapfrogging them in the standings.

Real are also going strong on the domestic front, leading La Liga by eight points from nearest challengers Sevilla, though having played a game more than Julen Lopetegui’s side.

Speaking after their triumph over Inter at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ancelotti was optimistic about Real’s prospects for the rest of the season – but insisted that no one side is favourite to win the European Cup this year.

“We’re doing well. We’re at a high level right now and we’re playing with greater defensive solidity,” he said, via Marca. “Sometimes we don’t press so high but we’re fine, we’re comfortable. We don’t want to defend an open game. Sometimes that isn’t so aesthetic, but we’re doing very well.

“We have the quality to win La Liga and the quality to compete in the Champions League. There are no teams with the quality to win the Champions League, only to compete. There are more intense teams, others with more quality. We’re not intense in the defensive aspect, we don’t like defending an open game. But we have a lot of quality, a lot of experience and a lot of commitment.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri named Real as one of the five favourites to win this year’s Champions League, though clearly Ancelotti is not in agreement.

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Real will be joined in the knockout stages of the Champions League by city rivals Atletico, but Barcelona and Sevilla could be eliminated from the competition if they don’t secure wins on Wednesday night.

Barça are likely in need of all three points from their trip to Bayern Munich in order to advance, while Sevilla require a victory away to Salzburg to ensure their place in the last 16.


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