Carlo Ancelotti admits Real Madrid’s style of play in the win over Liverpool was not “extraordinarily beautiful” but believes his side deserve to be crowned the champions of Europe.
Real won the Champions League final thanks to a second-half goal from Vinicius Jr. However they also have goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to thank for the win. The former Chelsea stopper was unbeatable.
The Belgium international denied Mohamed Salah on three occasions and Ancelotti was left in awe of the performance.
“Wow. Unbelievable. I can’t believe it,” the Italian tactician said after the game.
However Ancelotti praised his whole team for getting the job done. Not just against Liverpool but throughout the whole competition. Los Blancos had to overcome Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City just to get to the final.
The Real boss saluted the mental strength of the his players after overcoming some tough challenges.
“I can’t believe it. We had a fantastic season. We did really well,” he told BT Sport after the game. “It was a difficult game and we suffered a lot, more so in the first half. In the end I think we deserved to win this competition.
“We’re really happy. What can I say? I can’t say more, I am a record man. I had luck to come here last year and have a fantastic season. A fantastic club, a really good squad with a lot of quality and mental character. The season was top. I think we passed through really difficult games.”
Ancelotti felt Real got their tactics spot on as they knew exactly what to expect. Indeed out of all the games in the Champions League he felt the final was the easiest to prepare for.
Carlo Ancelotti masterplan
“I think it helped that Liverpool were easier to decipher than the others, because they have a very clear identity and we could prepare the way that we did,” he added. We knew what strategy to take, don’t give them space behind the defence to run into.
“Perhaps our football wasn’t extraordinarily beautiful tonight on an aesthetic level. But playing out from the back to incentivise their pressing wasn’t a great idea.
“We had a few more long balls, then when their press in our half of the pitch lessened, we got to control the ball more especially in the second half.”