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Ancelotti calls on Madrid players to maintain ‘intensity’ in finals weeks

Carlo Ancelotti has challenged his Real Madrid side to maintain their intensity ahead of the Champions League final with Liverpool on May 28.

A fortnight ago, Los Blancos crowned LaLiga champions condemned Levante to relegation on Thursday following a 6-0 thumping at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Vinicius Junior scored his first hat-trick for the club in his 168th appearance, with Ferland Mendy, Karim Benzema and Rodrygo also finding the back of the net.

Benzema’s header saw him move level with Raul as Madrid’s second-highest all-time top goalscorer on 323 goals.

The emphatic win followed Sunday’s El Derbi defeat to Atletico Madrid, and Ancelotti said he expects his players to give 100 per cent in their remaining two league games before the showdown with Jurgen Klopp’s side.

He told a media conference:

“We are playing well, and our self-esteem has grown a lot.

“We have this challenge of playing in the final after winning the league. And we know that there is a lack of time and that we have to have intensity.

“The team are showing perfect signs. We work very well in the field. We have done well with rhythm and intensity. It’s what we wanted, high intensity for team dynamics.”

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Asked what his side’s formation would be for the game against Liverpool, Ancelotti revealed he would not deviate from his trusted 4-3-3.

“It will be the 4-3-3,” he said. “That sometimes can be a 4-4-2. I think there is no defined system. Sometimes to put pressure on the pivot, as we did against Manchester City, you go from 4-3-3 to 4-4-1-1.

“The idea does not change much, just a little the way of defending the rival, of putting pressure on him.”

In recent weeks, Ancelotti has received praises from across Europe after masterminding Madrid’s dramatic run to the Champions League final. Yet, the Italian would not be drawn on whether he was the best on the continent.

“It is difficult to answer that,” he said. “I don’t like to give myself votes. Others give them to me.

“I like to live a happy moment. I hope I can continue like this for a long time. We have a massive goal. We are going to give everything.”

Meanwhile, Madrid faces Cadiz and Real Betis before a battle with the Reds in Paris at the end of the month.

Likewise, for more football news like this, click here.

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