Ancelotti targets European glory

Carlo Ancelotti wants to go down in history the coach that guided Real Madrid to their 10th European Cup.

Last Updated: 19/11/13 at 15:14 Post Comment

Ancelloti: Pledge to the Real Madrid fans

Ancelloti: Pledge to the Real Madrid fans

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Carlo Ancelotti wants to go down in history the coach that guided Real Madrid to their 10th European Cup and insists early criticism of his reign only gives him extra motivation to succeed.

The Italian, who won the Champions League with AC Milan in 2007, replaced Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu in the summer with a clear brief to secure the fabled Decima while also reining in Primera Division champions Barcelona.

Real are now all but assured of their place in Europe's last 16 but a shaky start to the league season has left Ancelotti's men six points off the pace set by Barca.

City rivals Atletico Madrid are also blazing a trail and beat Los Blancos 1-0 at the Bernabeu in September - their first league triumph in the derby this century - to heap more pressure on the 54-year-old.

The former Chelsea boss does, however, remain confident he can defy any doubters and become an iconic figure in the Spanish capital.

He told Marca: "I hope that someday someone will say that Ancelotti won the 'Decima"'

"There is always a lot of talk about all the coaches that have struggled at Real Madrid, but that just gives me motivation.

"The fans ask for a lot because it's Real Madrid and so that's normal."

Real visit Almeria this weekend before hosting Galatasaray in the Champions League next Wednesday.

A point from the Bernabeu meeting with the Turks would confirm the Spaniards' progression to the knockout stages.Ancelotti also denied suggestions the Spanish giants are willing to offer Xabi Alonso in exchange for Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo.

Reports in Spain have strongly linked 34-year-old Pirlo with a move to the Bernabeu with the Italy international set to become a free agent in the summer of 2014.

"A deal with Juventus regarding Pirlo and Xabi Alonso is simply something that does not exist," Ancelotti told Italian TV channel Italia 1.

"I speak to Pirlo often. And I am happy that he received an ovation from the Bernabeu crowd (in Juve's 2-1 Champions League defeat at Real Madrid on October 23).

"He got more applause that night than Real has received during this period."

Ancelotti insisted Real have no intention of letting Alonso leave.

The Spain international has been a key man since joining the club from Liverpool in the summer of 2009.

Alonso is under contract with Los Merengues until June 2014 but is expected to sign a new deal before the end of the year.

"Xabi is a crucial player for Real Madrid," Ancelotti said. "He was injured recently but he has recovered and for us he is a fundamental player.

"There are no players like him, the only one that could be considered of his level is Pirlo."


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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

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eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

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ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

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