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Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has run the risk of further upsetting Everton fans by comparing the experience of living in Liverpool to ‘a constant pandemic’. The legendary 62-year-old manager spent a year-and-a-half in charge at Goodison Park between 2019-2021, guiding his side to 12th and 10th place finishes.
Toffees supporters were left bitterly disappointed, however, when the Italian departed last summer after being offered the opportunity to return to Madrid. And speaking about his experience on Merseyside, Ancelotti insisted he enjoyed his brief spell there – but couldn’t avoid a subtle dig towards the north west.
“They (Everton) have a very passionate crowd, I really like that,” Ancelotti said in an interview with Diario AS. “It was bad luck not being able to enjoy Goodison Park more (due to the pandemic).
“We got 60 points, a miracle, but we won more away than at home. It was a good period. (But) Liverpool is not Madrid, it was almost like living through a constant pandemic.”
Ancelotti returns to England on Tuesday as his Madrid side take on Manchester City at the Etihad in the first leg of their mouthwatering Champions League semi-final tie. Ancelotti is looking to win an incredible fourth Champions League title as a manager, having lifted the famous cup twice with AC Milan and once in his first spell with Los Blancos.
And he added: “I am aware that I coach the biggest club in the world, the demand is high and I have to accept it. In Napoli I felt fine, but coming back to Madrid was special, I never thought it would happen.
“There are two things, the happiness of being in the semifinals in this type of match, and the worry. If you’re worried, you’re dealing with what might happen.”
City boss Guardiola, meanwhile, is well aware of the test that will face his players when they come up against the Spanish giants. “They have been here many times,” he said at his press conference on Monday.
“The history is there and we cannot change it, but it’s 11 vs 11. The players will decide. We are playing a team who have been here many times, that is why they have this… and we don’t.
“We can’t imagine what is going to happen but it is 11 vs 11. Move players, how strong they are mentally, that will make the difference. Carlo and myself won’t win it. Players are the reason why.”
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