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Ancelotti – ‘I am the record man’

Carlo Ancelotti declared himself the “record man” after becoming the first coach to win the European Cup or Champions League four times after Vinicius Junior fired Real Madrid to a 1-0 final win over Liverpool.

Madrid won their 14th European title – twice as many as any other team in the competition’s history – as Vinicius’ second-half goal proved pivotal as Los Blancos added European football’s top trophy to their LaLiga title success.

Los Blancos had to hold their nerve in the face of prolonged Liverpool pressure, with Jurgen Klopp’s side registering 24 shots during the match, but they produced a resolute effort to repeat their 2018 final victory against the Reds.

Having led Milan to Champions League titles in 2002-03 and 2006-07 and done likewise with Madrid in 2013-14 and 2021-22.

Ancelotti is now the most successful manager in the history of the competition.

In an interview with BT Sport following the triumph, the Italian expressed his gratitude for being able to return to the Santiago Bernabeu before the start of the season, as well as praised his team’s character after a string of spectacular European comebacks.

He laughed and said:

“I am the record man!

“I had the luck to come here last year and to have a fantastic season.

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Ancelotti - 'I am the record man'

“And I found, as usual, a fantastic club and a great squad, with a lot of quality.

“I think this season was top.

“I cannot believe it. And I think that we had a fantastic season, and we did really well. It was a difficult game.

“We suffered a lot, more at the start, [we were] better second half. I think in the end, with all the games that we played, we deserved to win this competition.

“I think that we passed through a really difficult game every game, the supporters helped us a lot, in the last game [a 6-5 aggregate semi-final win over Manchester City] and tonight.

“We are really happy, honestly, what can I say? I cannot say more.”

Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois played a crucial role in ensuring the victory, making nine saves during the game, the most on record by a goalkeeper in a single Champions League final (since 2003-04).

Asked to describe the Belgian’s performance, Ancelotti was lost for words, saying: “Unbelievable. I tell you, I cannot believe it!”

Madrid had already become the first team to reach the Champions League final after losing a game in each of the last 16, quarter-finals, and semi-finals, making their triumph one of the most dramatic in recent history.

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Ancelotti - 'I am the record man'

Asked about Madrid’s incredible record on the biggest stage by M+, Ancelotti shrugged: “This is Real Madrid.”

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