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Carlo Ancelotti: ‘Champions League final vs. Liverpool is like a derby for me’

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti says the Champions League final against Liverpool will be “like a derby” for him, due to his personal history against them.

Real have made it to the European Cup final for the 17th time in their history, and on May 28 will be looking to clinch their 14th trophy in the competition.

Since its rebranding to the Champions League in 1992, the Madrid side have now contested eight, including the 2018 victory over Liverpool in Kyiv.

There is a sense of revenge on the cards for the Reds, then, after the treatment of Mohamed Salah and Loris Karius in particular, while their history with Ancelotti will play on the mind, too.

Ancelotti has so far faced Liverpool on 16 occasions as a manager, and though he was not in the side in Rome, he was also part of the Roma squad who made it to the 1984 European Cup final eventually won by the Reds on penalties.

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 04: Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid celebrates with team mates after Rodrygo of Real Madrid (not pictured) scores their sides second goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Leg Two match between Real Madrid and Manchester City at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 04, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (UEFA)

The connection includes two Champions League finals in 2005 and 2007 while in charge of AC Milan, while the Italian also spent two seasons in charge of Everton.

“I am very happy to play in another final, against a great team like Liverpool,” Ancelotti said in his post-match press conference.

“I faced Liverpool in the 1984 final as a player, then in 2005 and 2007 [as manager], and now it will be against Liverpool one more time.

“I lived in Liverpool for two years and it’s like a derby for me, because I am still an Evertonian.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2020: Everton's manager Carlo Ancelottiduring the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 235th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Everton fans may not feel the same way given the manner of Ancelotti’s exit in 2021, swiftly departing to make the step up to Real, but his experience certainly adds another element to the upcoming final.

In three meetings in the Premier League under the 62-year-old, Everton won one and drew two, with their only defeat to the Reds during his time at Goodison coming in the FA Cup third round.

For Liverpool, it will a much-anticipated clash in Paris, with the collapse of Man City on Wednesday night setting up a third final against Real.

“[It was be a] fantastic, unbelievable challenge,” Ancelotti told BT Sport.

“I’m really happy to be there against another great, great rival. But we are used to it.

“I think it will be a fantastic game for football.”

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