Soccer – Ancelotti ready to rule Europe again


Carlo Ancelotti has said Real Madrid will not fear semi-final opponents Juventus and hope to become the first club side to successfully defend the Champions League trophy in Berlin in June.

The holders were on Friday drawn to face the Serie A leaders in a mouth-watering two-legged last-four clash, while Pep Guardiola will face his old club Barcelona with Bayern Munich in the other semi-final. Spain’s capital giants came through a gruelling last-eight test against city rivals Atletico Madrid and Ancelotti suggested a 15-point lead at the top in Italy meant Juve could focus all their efforts on reaching the final of Europe’s premier club competition.
“Juventus is a club that have a legendary history and it is returning to a semi-final after 12 years,” Ancelotti told reporters in his press briefing. “They are having a very good season and have practically won the Italian league. That means they can focus more on the Champions League.”
Ancelotti last season won his third Champions League title as a coach when guiding the La Liga giants to a 10th European crown and the experienced Italian said the next target is to stay kings of the continent.
He added: “We are confident that we can follow our dream, which is to reach another final after last year. We need Real Madrid to be at their best to win, we need the same side that played against Atletico, with the same enthusiasm and hope. We have a lot of confidence.”
Barcelona are currently priced 2/1 by Bet365 in the Champions League outright winner betting and Real Madrid are available to back at 2/1. Bayern Munich are quoted 5/2 and Juventus are on offer at 15/2.