Carlo Ancelotti has said there is “no euphoria” at Real Madrid after their dramatic Champions League comeback against Paris Saint-Germain this week.
A 17-minute Karim Benzema hat trick gave Madrid a 3-1 win over PSG in their round-of-16 second leg to progress to the quarterfinals, after Kylian Mbappe had put the visitors 2-0 up on aggregate before half time.
“There’s no euphoria at the club or in the team,” Ancelotti said on Sunday in a news conference ahead of Madrid’s LaLiga game at Real Mallorca.
“We won the game and we’re still in the Champions League, but tomorrow is another game in another competition. This team is used to looking forward, even when it’s won trophies. We’re only in the Champions League quarterfinals.”
The PSG victory was the highlight of Madrid’s season so far in their most high-profile fixture, with the spotlight on Mbappe — who Madrid tried to sign last summer — as well as the return to Spain of Lionel Messi, and the tense relationship between the two clubs.
The result sparked an angry reaction from PSG executives, with sources telling ESPN that president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Leonardo looked to confront the referee over the decision to allow Benzema’s first goal.
“[The win] meant a lot, more than in a sporting sense, with the atmosphere and the emotion,” Ancelotti added.
“The team gave everything for the fans, and the fans pushed the team. That was beautiful. We know that we have an atmosphere at the Bernabeu that can help is in big games.”
With a place in the Champions League quarterfinals secure, Madrid will now focus on domestic matters as they travel to Mallorca for Monday’s league match.
Ancelotti said that he “agrees 100%” with the decisions the club will take on new deals for Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Isco — all of whom are out of contract this summer — and described Thibaut Courtois’ omission from a recent top ten goalkeepers list as “nonsense.”
“Courtois is the best in the world for me,” he said. “I’m biased, but saying Courtois isn’t among the ten best… you should tear up your press card!”