Ancelotti says Real Madrid did not need PSG comeback to convince Mbappe to join

By Sports Desk March 13, 2022

Carlo Ancelotti thinks Real Madrid did not need to beat Paris Saint-Germain to prove an attractive prospect for the likes of Kylian Mbappe.

Karim Benzema's hat-trick secured a stunning comeback for Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu this week.

Mbappe gave PSG a 1-0 lead and a 2-0 aggregate advantage, but PSG suffered a collapse in the final half-hour as Benzema's treble sealed a 3-1 second-leg win and a 3-2 triumph in the tie.

Speculation has since emerged that Mbappe has already agreed a contract with Madrid to join on a free transfer from PSG at the end of the season.

With Madrid also tipped to battle for the signing of Erling Haaland in the next transfer window, Ancelotti was asked ahead of Monday's LaLiga game with Real Mallorca whether the result against PSG made his side more appealing to the world's top players.

He replied: "It's true that the game on Wednesday gave a really good picture of Real Madrid, but Real Madrid doesn't need that. It already has that picture in the world."

When asked whether he met with Mbappe, Ancelotti said: "No, I greeted [Marco] Verratti because he was my player when I coached PSG, and [sporting director] Leonardo, and the people I worked with back then in Paris.

"When you lose, you feel really bad, physically and mentally. All the PSG players were really disappointed. It's happened to everyone."

Ancelotti also denied that Madrid's progress to the quarter-finals has helped him to feel he has the backing of the fans and the club's hierarchy, his side having gone through a run of just one win in five games in all competitions in late January and February.

"Going through shows that everyone together brought Madrid to the quarter-finals," he said. "I don't need backing. The excitement to coach this team is so great that if they criticise you, it doesn't matter at all.

"It meant a lot [to go through], especially in terms of atmosphere. We saw the emotion the team gave to the fans, and what they gave to the team. It was very beautiful and very important.

"We know that, at the Bernabeu, the atmosphere is going to help us. And I'm very happy for the Madrid fans.

"In January, we went through a moment that wasn't so good, but we keep going, and hopefully we can win something this season."

Madrid's attention now turns to a trip to Mallorca knowing that, should Sevilla lose to Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, the leaders will have the chance to open up an 11-point gap at the top.

"We have good feelings," Ancelotti said. "I have all players available and all the ingredients to play a good game.

"Mallorca will give their utmost. Games in LaLiga tell you there's a lot of balance. There's a long way to go and everyone will give everything."

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    Meanwhile, his total of 28 open-play chances created in the 2023-24 competition has only previously been bettered by five players in a single edition, most recently Amin Younes for Ajax in 2016-17 (30).

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