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Ancelotti targeting history with Real Madrid in ‘special’ Champions League

The
experienced
Italian
coach
is
level
with
Liverpool
great
Bob
Paisley
and
former
Madrid
boss
Zinedine
Zidane
with
three
triumphs
in
the
competition
previously
known
as
the
European
Cup.

Ancelotti
famously
ended
Madrid’s
12-year
wait
for
‘La
Decima’

a
10th
European
crown

when
beating
Atletico
Madrid
4-1
in
the
2013-14
final
in
Lisbon.

Los
Blancos
went
on
to
win
the
competition
in
three
successive
seasons
under
Zidane,
during
which
time
Ancelotti
was
boss
of
Bayern
Munich
and
Napoli,
before
a
spell
with
Everton.

Back
at
the
Santiago
Bernabeu
since
June,
Ancelotti
is
out
to
become
the
most
successful
ever
coach
in
the
continental
competition,
having
also
twice
gone
all
the
way
with
Milan.

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“It’s
a
great
motivation,”
he
said
at
a
news
conference
previewing
Wednesday’s
opening
group
game
against
Inter.

“But
the
biggest
motivation
of
all
is
to
come
back
and
win
with
Real
Madrid.
The
joy
is
to
go
to
Valdebebas
every
day
to
coach
the
team.

“For
me
this
competition
is
special.
I
also
won
it
as
a
player
and
I
have
excellent
memories,
especially
winning
Madrid’s
10th.
It
is
a
fresh
and
special
memory.”

Ancelotti’s
76
per
cent
win
rate
across
his
25
Champions
League
games
with
Madrid
is
the
best
of
any
coach
at
a
single
club
to
have
managed
at
least
20
matches.

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He
will
be
looking
to
build
on
that
return
on
Wednesday
when
Madrid
travel
to
San
Siro
for
their
much-anticipated
Group
D
opener
with
Italian
champions
Inter.

Los
Blancos
will
fancy
their
chances
of
advancing
from
a
group
that
also
contains
Shakhtar
Donetsk
and
debutants
Sheriff
Tiraspol,
but
trickier
tests
would
then
lie
in
wait.

Paris
Saint-Germain
are
the
trophy
favourites
of
many
after
adding
Lionel
Messi
to
their
ranks,
while
Bayern
Munich
and
England’s
four-strong
contingent
are
also
much-fancied.

“It’s
hard
to
say
whether
we
can
be
considered
among
the
favourites,”
Ancelotti
said
when
asked
where
his
side
currently
rank
among
Europe’s
elite
clubs.

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“What
I
can
say
is
that
Madrid
will
be
competitive
all
the
way.
To
say
whether
we’re
favourites
is
too
difficult.
We’ll
just
try
to
fight
for
everything.”

Madrid
have
won
only
one
of
their
previous
eight
away
games
against
Inter
in
European
competition,
though
that
victory
came
in
last
season’s
group
stage.

Both
teams
have
a
new
head
coach
in
the
dugout
10
months
on
from
that
previous
encounter,
with
Simone
Inzaghi
replacing
Antonio
Conte
at
Inter
ahead
of
this
season.

Inter
dropped
their
first
points
of
the
season
on
Sunday
with
a
2-2
draw
against
Sampdoria,
while
Madrid
saw
off
Celta
Vigo
5-2
to
make
it
three
wins
from
four
this
term.

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“Inter
are
doing
well
so
far,”
Ancelotti
said.
“We
did
well
in
our
last
game
against
Celta,
but
tomorrow
will
be
another
story.
It’s
a
competition
that
gives
Madrid
great
sensations.

“We
know
it
will
be
complicated.
Inter
have
a
new
coach
but
the
structure
is
the
same.
We’ll
try
to
control
the
game
and
play
to
our
best.

“They
have
lost
important
players
but
have
also
signed
some
important
players.
They
are
a
team
that
play
good
football.
It
will
be
an
open
and
competitive
match.”

Ancelotti
also
confirmed
that
full-back
Marcelo
will
play
no
part
against
Inter
because
of
an
injury,
while
Gareth
Bale
also
remains
absent.

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