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Real Madrid shrugged off a delay at the airport to arrive at the Etihad Stadium in relaxed mood ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg against Manchester City.
The European champions had to wait for more than half an hour in the arrivals hall at Manchester Airport on Tuesday after their team bus was unable to collect them on time.
Yet Carlo Ancelotti’s squad were soon transported to the stadium where they trained ahead of Wednesday’s clash, which will begin on a knife edge after a 1-1 draw in the first leg at the Bernabeu last week.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti said at his pre-match press conference: “I am very calm, full of hope, full of faith.
“Tomorrow – game day – that’s when the worries come in and you think things through, whether (Erling) Haaland will score or (Kevin) De Bruyne will hurt you.
“But I try to put it out of my mind. It is all about managing thoughts.
“We are very happy to be here, we are feeling good. It is a usual event for us to be in a semi-final.
“It’s 11 years out of 13 in the semi-finals. That’s not easy. We enjoy it while we can.”
City may have the home advantage but, as 14-time European champions and the current holders, Real certainly have experience of delivering in such encounters.
Ancelotti, who has won the competition twice as Real boss and twice with AC Milan, said: “It’s special for Real Madrid because of the history we have in the tournament.
“In the 1950s it became important for the fans and players. It’s everything you work for. It’s something special to try to win European trophies, especially the European Cup.
“It’s been important for them throughout their history. It is a club that has a special power to stay alive.”
Ancelotti has a full squad available with Eduardo Camavinga having overcome a knock and Eder Militao back from suspension.
The first leg was evenly matched with City dominating possession for large spells but Real repeatedly threatening on the counter-attack.
These are the best two teams in Europe and I’m predicting an exciting game.
Ancelotti said: “I don’t think it will be so different.
“There may be some adjustment from both sides. There are things we can improve but I think they think that too.
“These are the best two teams in Europe and I’m predicting an exciting game like the first leg.”
Veteran midfielder Luka Modric is relishing the encounter.
The Croatia international said: “We have good feelings and are eager to get going. I can’t wait.
“These games are like finals. It is massive. You have to enjoy every minute.”
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