Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti will be extra motivated by his sacking at Real Madrid in 2015 when the two clubs meet in this season’s Champions League quarterfinal, according to the German club’s president Uli Hoeness.
Ancelotti was Madrid coach from 2013 to 2015 — winning the Champions League and Copa del Rey trophies during this first season in charge — but was then controversially fired by Los Blancos president Florentino Perez when his second year brought no major silverware.
He faces his former club in the last eight of the Champions League next month, with his ex-assistant Zinedine Zidane now in charge of a largely unchanged squad, which also won the Champions League trophy last season.
Speaking in AS, Hoeness said: “[Ancelotti] knows Madrid and its players like the palm of his hand. Plus, he wants to knock them out as his goodbye there was not the nicest. This is normal in sport. Carlo is very relaxed, he calms us and tells us we will do it.”
Hoeness admitted that for Bayern to face the 2014 and 2016 winners at this point was not ideal, but to win the competition you generally had to face the top sides.
“I did not want Madrid, they were one of the best teams left in the competition,” he said. “But as I always say — to reach the final you must beat whoever you draw. We are in good form at the moment, and now we must confirm that with results.”
Bayern are currently 13 points clear in the Bundesliga, and also set to face main domestic rivals Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal semifinals — with Dortmund the last team to beat them in any competition back in mid-November.
Hoeness said that the real test of how Ancelotti was managing his squad would come over the next month.
“The gaffer has all the players available, but that can also bring problems,” he said. “There can be worries in a squad like ours. But that is normal. We do not want players who are happy to be substitutes or not to play at all. It is up to Carlo to manage the situation.
“The key is in keeping our form and the positive atmosphere in the dressing room. We now have the games against Madrid and the cup semifinal with Dortmund. Those will be the real tests [of the team].”