Carlo Ancelotti believes Real Madrid can win the Champions League but is braced for a tough quarter-final second leg against Chelsea.

Madrid hold a 3-1 advantage after defeating Chelsea for the first time in Europe and will be expected to finish off the job at in the Spanish capital on Tuesday.

Thomas Tuchel has conceded the holders face an almost "impossible" task in the Spanish capital, as they have to win by their biggest margin away from home in the competition just to take the tie into extra time.

No English side has ever won by more than a single goal at Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League, making Ancelotti's team the strong favourites to make the semi-finals.

That would set up a meeting with either Manchester City and Atletico Madrid, but Ancelotti is not getting ahead of himself even if he thinks his team have the credentials to lift the famous trophy.

Asked at a pre-match news conference what Madrid were missing to be labelled as favourites, he said: "There is nothing missing, but nobody can say that they are going to win because the Champions League is very difficult.

"Not everyone can compete, you need a lot of quality, experience, personality. That's why I said that this team can compete."

Madrid are looking to become the first team to win both legs against Chelsea in a Champions League tie since Bayern Munich in the 2019-20 season.

But Ancelotti expects the Blues to come out fighting after Tuchel was critical of their display at Stamford Bridge last week.

"Everyone knows that it will be a difficult match, like all the quarter-finals in the Champions League," he continued. "Whatever happens in the first leg, you have to fight and compete.

"You have to be switched on for 90 minutes. We expect Chelsea are going to come out strong. I am lucky that my squad knows this type of match and what can happen. We won't go out relaxed.

"My squad is happy to play because it's a great opportunity to reach a semi-final."

Pressed on Tuchel stating it is an almost impossible task for his side to progress, Ancelotti said: "I don't know. They will come and fight despite it being difficult. They are a big team with a spirit that never gives up."

If Madrid do progress to the last four, Ancelotti will have made the Champions League semi-finals for an eighth time – the joint-most by a coach in the competition, along with Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho.

Guardiola will take his tally to nine if City get knock Atleti out.

Carlo Ancelotti praised Gareth Bale's professionalism after the Welshman was subjected to boos from sections of the Real Madrid fanbase during Saturday's win against Getafe.

Bale was a 74th-minute substitute during the 2-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu, completing four of five passes and hitting two shots, one of which tested Getafe goalkeeper David Soria from distance.

The 32-year-old has been a divisive figure in the Spanish capital, scoring crucial goals and winning four Champions League trophies in his time there, but he has missed a lot of football through injury in recent years.

Bale has also made it known he prefers to play for Wales than for his club, and is expected to bring his nine years at Madrid to an end when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Ancelotti refused to criticise the fans, but did praise Bale and insisted he will continue to play if fit.

"The fans are very important, such as against PSG," he said, referring to the recent dramatic 3-2 aggregate turnaround in the Champions League round of 16 against Paris Saint-Germain. 

"Bale has been whistled but he's a serious professional and if he's well, he can play."

Goals from Casemiro and Lucas Vazquez sealed the win, which restored Madrid's 12-point lead at the top of LaLiga, and Ancelotti was satisfied with his team's performance, but insisted the title race is not yet over.

"We're closer [to the title]," he said. "It's a good run but it's not over yet, we have to keep fighting, we have two away games now with Sevilla and Osasuna."

Los Blancos' next game is on Tuesday when Chelsea come to Spain for their Champions League quarter-final second leg, where Madrid will have a 3-1 aggregate lead.

The Blues warmed up for the clash with an emphatic 6-0 win at Southampton on Saturday, and Ancelotti remains wary of his former club, saying: "It will be a difficult game, we have to prepare it as if we don't have that advantage.

"Today, [Chelsea] won by many goals. We are going to have to be very focused."

Real Madrid secured victory against Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu to restore their 12-point lead at the top of LaLiga on Saturday.

It was a relatively comfortable evening's work for Madrid, with Casemiro's first-half header and Lucas Vazquez's second-half finish sealing a 2-0 win.

Madrid controlled the game from start to finish, and Carlo Ancelotti was even able to save the legs of some of his key players.

The coach made four changes from the midweek Champions League win against Chelsea, resting Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric with one eye on the quarter-final second leg.

Stamford Bridge hat-trick hero Karim Benzema remained in the line-up and had the ball in the net inside four minutes after a long pass from David Alaba fell kindly to him, only to see the flag go up for offside.

Madrid dominated the early stages but struggled to create chances, with Federico Valverde coming closest with a volley from a Benzema cross, forcing a tremendous save from David Soria.

The deadlock was broken in the 38th minute after Vinicius Junior put in a delightful cross with the outside of his right foot for Casemiro to head in at the far post.

The hosts knocked on the door for another soon after the break, with Valverde again going close with a free-kick from range.

But Madrid were made to wait until the 68th minute when Vazquez played a neat one-two on the right with Rodrygo before placing the ball with his left foot into the far corner of the net.

The visitors showed a brief glimpse of fight at the end, with Enes Unal hitting the post with an effort in the 90th minute, but it was merely a minor scare for the league leaders.

Carlo Ancelotti wants Gareth Bale to leave Real Madrid in a blaze of glory rather than with his reputation sullied, hailing the Welsh winger as a history maker.

Bale was a €100million (£85.3m) signing from Tottenham nine years ago during Ancelotti's first stint as Los Blancos coach, and with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema he formed part of a thrilling front three.

The 32-year-old has already won the Champions League four times in Madrid, as well as two LaLiga titles, but in recent seasons Bale has been nudged towards the fringes of the squad.

Injuries have been a factor, and while Bale has been reliably brilliant for the Wales national team, opportunities in Madrid have become sporadic. He spent last season on loan at Tottenham.

His contract expires at the end of June, and Bale will be moving on. This season he has faced vicious criticism in some sections of the Spanish media, recently being dubbed a "parasite" in sports daily Marca, and there has been a danger of him leaving without any fanfare, or even amid a torrent of negativity.

Bale did not help himself when he paraded a flag bearing the immortal slogan "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order" after helping his national team qualify for Euro 2020.

Yet head coach Ancelotti says Bale, who could face Getafe in LaLiga on Saturday, is worthy of respect for his achievements in Spain.

He has scored 81 goals in 175 LaLiga games for the club, and has managed five goals and two assists in eight league games against Getafe.

In the Champions League, Bale has totted up 16 goals and 12 assists in 41 starts and 16 substitute appearances. That figure includes two crucial goals in Madrid's 3-1 defeat of Liverpool in the 2018 final in Kyiv.

The most recent outing from the bench came on Wednesday, late in the day as Madrid won 3-1 at Chelsea in the first leg of their quarter-final.

Madrid could yet win a famous double in Bale's final season at the club.

"Gareth Bale is fit right now. I'm sure he wants to show it here at Real Madrid," said Ancelotti. "It would be deserved and right for him to bid farewell to the Bernabeu.

"He expects confidence in him from us. He wants to finish his career at Real Madrid on a high note. We will see how it goes.

"He has already made history at Real Madrid with his games, his goals and his triumphs. He's a very respected player, and we want the best for him."

Karim Benzema was served a rich compliment when Carlo Ancelotti said the Real Madrid striker reminds him of the great Marco van Basten.

Madrid head coach Ancelotti told a news conference he also expects Benzema to remain a talisman for the LaLiga giants, even if the club bring in Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland before next season.

French striker Benzema has 10 goals in his last four games, boosting his total to 37 in 36 appearances during a remarkable campaign for the 34-year-old club captain.

It will not have escaped Benzema's attention that Madrid are engaged in long-term planning, with his France team-mate Mbappe thought to be their prime target.

Paris Saint-Germain frontman Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund's Haaland are the two hottest young properties in the European game, and it might not be beyond the realm of possibility that both end up in Madrid.

Asked how that might change Benzema's position in the pecking order, Ancelotti cast doubt on whether it should make any immediate difference.

"Considering Karim's age, and considering the fact over the past years he's been getting better and better, I don't think this situation will change," Ancelotti said. "I know he will continue to do well, and he's one of the most important players of this club. We will see what happens, but I'm sure nothing will change for him."

Ancelotti, whose Madrid side face Getafe on Saturday evening, was asked how Benzema compared to players he has coached in the past, including the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba.

This spurred the veteran Italian to mention Van Basten, his former Milan team-mate and a Dutch legend whose career was cruelly cut short by injury.

"It's really difficult to make these comparisons because we're talking about different eras and different people," Ancelotti responded.

"I think comparing him to Van Basten is actually a good comparison. I think they would both appreciate that comparison, Marco and Karim."

It remains to be seen whether Ancelotti remains at the helm with Madrid next season.

His team are close to securing the LaLiga title, holding a 12-point lead over Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, and a 3-1 win at Chelsea on Wednesday gave them a handsome first-leg lead in their Champions League quarter-final.

Benzema's hat-trick at Stamford Bridge should mean Tuesday's second leg is one that Madrid can safely negotiate.

Yet doubts exist and rumours circulate about whether Madrid are planning to stick with Ancelotti, who arrived ahead of this season after a stint with Everton.

Asked about his prospects, Ancelotti said: "I enjoy what I do every day. I love the atmosphere we have in the team and I'm 100 per cent focused on my work.

"When the season is over, we will evaluate everything, and we will make decisions."

He refused to give himself a mark out of 10 for his performance so far.

"I'm not giving myself any marks," he said. "I have to give it my all, and we have to wait until the end of the season to see if we are lucky enough and have enough quality to win titles, and then we will draw conclusions."

Carlo Ancelotti is as impressed by Karim Benzema's leadership and personality as his outstanding goalscoring exploits after another dominant Champions League display.

Benzema became the fourth player in Champions League history to score a hat-trick in consecutive performances on Wednesday.

The France forward netted all three Real Madrid goals in their 3-1 win at Chelsea in the first leg of their quarter-final, having also hit a treble against Paris Saint-Germain in the last-16 second leg.

This was the first hat-trick against Chelsea in any European competition and moved Benzema to 11 goals for the campaign – the most by any Frenchman in the European Cup or Champions League in a single season.

Benzema has 37 goals across all competitions in 2021-22, but the two headers that gave Madrid a two-goal lead at Stamford Bridge have to count among his best.

Now 34, Benzema has never scored more in a season – 32 in 2011-12 was his previous best – but head coach Ancelotti sought to highlight how important he is to the team in other ways. The striker wore the captain's armband in the absence of Marcelo on Wednesday.

"Karim improves every day like a fine wine," said Ancelotti, who returned to the touchline after testing negative for coronavirus.

"He's more and more of a leader in the team, in the group, and I think that's the biggest difference. He shows his personality more, he knows that he is very important to us and he is an example for all."

This was a fourth consecutive win in matches against reigning European champions for Madrid, but Ancelotti warned against complacency heading into the second leg in Spain.

"The team played very well, it was a very good performance. We were brave, we showed personality," he said. "But we are only at half-time in the tie.

"We'll want to have the same approach when we come back, but you never know how it's going to go.

"Obviously, we have the advantage, but the tie is still open. Without the away goal rule, it's an advantage for Chelsea.

"I think we played better than them on the night, but there is still one game and anything can happen."

Real Madrid will be boosted by the presence of head coach Carlo Ancelotti against Chelsea on Wednesday following his recovery from coronavirus.

Ancelotti contracted COVID-19 last week and was absent for Madrid's 2-1 win at Celta Vigo at the weekend.

The former Chelsea boss was also expected to miss a return to Stamford Bridge in the first leg of Madrid's Champions League quarter-final.

But a Madrid statement on the morning of the game announced Ancelotti was travelling to London to join his squad following a negative test result.

"Real Madrid C.F. is pleased to announce that our coach Carlo Ancelotti has returned a negative result for COVID-19," the statement read, "and will therefore travel to London this morning to join up with the first team."

Madrid, knocked out of last season's competition by Chelsea, will be looking for a first win against the Blues in six attempts.

This fixture sees the Spanish giants' worst winless record against any opposition in European competition.

However, no English team have previously eliminated Madrid from the knockout stages of the Champions League on multiple occasions.

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has tested positive for COVID-19.

The 62-year-old's diagnosis was confirmed by the club on Wednesday and he will now miss Los Blancos' LaLiga clash at Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Ancelotti could also be absent from the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final with former club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next week.

The Italian coach's son and assistant, Davide, is expected to take charge of the team in his father's absence.

A statement on the club's website simply read: "Real Madrid confirm that our coach Carlo Ancelotti has tested positive for COVID-19."

Madrid will be looking to bounce back at the weekend having been humbled 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu by rivals Barcelona in their last outing before the international break.

Despite that setback, they remain clear at the top of LaLiga, nine points ahead of second-placed Sevilla.

Carlo Ancelotti apologised for Real Madrid's shocking 4-0 capitulation to Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu, admitting: "It's all gone wrong."

Madrid, who still hold a nine-point lead over second-placed Sevilla in LaLiga, were mauled by a resurgent Barcelona as Xavi's first taste of this LaLiga clash as a coach ended in glorious triumph for the visitors.

Barcelona are nowhere near being in the hunt for the league title this season, but this was a fifth consecutive win in the competition, and in four of those games they have hit four goals. They are now third and pushing to finish second.

Since his November appointment, Xavi's Barcelona have taken 37 points from 16 games in LaLiga, while Madrid have 39 from 17 outings.

These great rivals are going toe to toe again in the second half of the season, and it is little wonder Madrid want to sign Kylian Mbappe to strengthen their ranks for next term, given momentum is suddenly all with Barcelona.

Ancelotti nudged Luka Modric into more of an attacking role, the 36-year-old midfielder deployed as a false nine in the absence of a genuine number nine in Karim Benzema, who is injured and was sorely missed.

The head coach said that was intended as a means of taking control of the ball and looking to press high, with Modric primed to bring others into the game.

"And it hasn't worked out," Ancelotti said. "When they advanced, we lost control. They hurt us. It was not a good night, we are sorry for the fans, but we have to look forward. We have an advantage, we have to rest and come back.

"I tried to push up and it hasn't come off, my fault. It's hard because it's a Clasico, we're very sorry, it's a blow, we've lost a battle, but we have an advantage, we have to be calm, calm and recover. We don't have to make a drama out of this match. We're sorry. It's all gone wrong, we have to forget it and look forward."

 

With four defeats in six editions of El Clasico as a coach, Ancelotti has found it difficult to manage this fixture.

"I've failed in this game, but I'm not making a big deal out of it," he said.

This is Ancelotti's second stint in charge of Los Blancos, after he was lured away from Everton ahead of this season. His Madrid side won 2-1 at Camp Nou in October, prior to Xavi's arrival, and then beat Barcelona 3-2 after extra time in the Supercopa semi-finals in January.

Former Barca playmaker Xavi has increasingly brought a serenity to affairs at a club where there was considerable chaos earlier in the campaign.

Now it will be Ancelotti's task to ensure Madrid are not left scarred by a defeat in which Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ran the hosts ragged, scoring twice and teeing up another goal for Ferran Torres. Ronald Araujo also beat Thibaut Courtois, whose goal was peppered with shots as Madrid defended dreadfully.

Xavi became the third Barcelona coach to win his first LaLiga Clasico by four or more goals, after Ferdinand Daucik in 1951 (7-2) and Helenio Herrera in 1959 (4-0).

Ancelotti is optimistic Madrid's supporters will allow him and the team a blip, even one of such scale against the club's greatest enemies.

"They understood that it was not a good night," Ancelotti said. "We don't know what will happen in the coming months. We can recover and win the next game. I don't think this will affect the team."

Xavi perfectly embodies the characteristics of Barcelona and has improved the Catalan giants since taking over, according to Real Madrid counterpart Carlo Ancelotti.

The pair are set to face off at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday in the third and final Clasico of the season, with Madrid boasting a 10-point lead at the LaLiga summit.

Barcelona are five points further back, albeit with a game in hand, in what has been a disappointing campaign on the whole for the club.

Results have improved over the past two months, however, with Xavi – appointed as Ronald Koeman's successor in November – steadily transforming his side's fortunes.

Since Xavi's appointment, Barcelona have taken 34 points from 15 games in LaLiga, a record only bettered by Madrid since then (39 points).

Thursday's 2-1 win over Galatasaray helped Xavi's side through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League, meanwhile, and extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches.

That is Barca's longest-such streak since January 2020 under Ernesto Valverde, giving Xavi's side some momentum heading into their showdown with fierce rivals Madrid.

And Ancelotti, whose three defeats in five LaLiga meetings with Barca is his joint-worst against any side in LaLiga, along with Atletico Madrid, has been impressed by Xavi's work.

"The identity of Barcelona has not changed," he said at Saturday's pre-match news conference. "They are a team with a very clear style and Xavi embodies it perfectly. 

"Barcelona have improved a lot and they are in a good dynamic. My opinion is that he is doing very well."

 

Xavi is still early in his coaching career, especially in comparison to veteran of the dugout Ancelotti, with Sunday's clash his second taste of this historic fixture as a manager.

The midfield legend is aiming to avoid becoming only the third Barca boss, after Ernesto Valverde and Ronald Koeman, to lose his first two Clasicos this century.

Defeat for Barca would see them fall 18 points behind the leaders, but Ancelotti insists the game in the Spanish capital is not make-or-break for the visitors.

"If we win we have three more points; if we tie, one; if we lose, none," he said. "I wouldn't rule out Barcelona in any case, whatever happens. Because they will fight until the end."

Should Barca avoid defeat, Xavi will become only the second Barca coach to go unbeaten in his first 10 LaLiga away games after Ernesto Valverde, who was unbeaten in 18.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Karim Benzema will miss Sunday's Clasico clash with Barcelona.

The top scorer in LaLiga this season with 22 goals, Benzema will not be available to face the Blaugrana at Santiago Bernabeu.

The France international netted twice in Monday’s 3-0 victory over Real Mallorca, but limped off towards the end of the contest indicating a problem with his calf.

Ancelotti, who is also without Ferland Mendy, revealed that Benzema will also not link with Les Bleus during the forthcoming international break.

Addressing the media during his pre-match conference on Saturday, the Italian said: "Both [Benzema] and Mendy can't play and won't go to France either. They stay in Madrid.

"He hasn't trained with the group. He still has some discomfort.

"Karim is a very important part, because he finishes all the work, but without him, you have to keep that work and look for different solutions.

"It is already decided who is going to play [in his place]. But I'm not going to tell you."

Benzema's league goals have come at a rate of one every 93.55 minutes, while he also leads the assists standings with 11 to his name already.

Asked if he is concerned by Benzema's latest lay-off, Ancelotti said: "He is a player who is 34 years old and sometimes it can happen to him. 

"They are very minor annoyances and he has recovered very quickly. When he has come back, he has made a difference. 

"We have another two weeks to work with him and then he will make a difference again. 

"It doesn't worry me that he won't play tomorrow because we have time for him to play at the end of the season and make a difference."

Madrid sit comfortably top of LaLiga, armed with a 10-point lead over second-placed Sevilla. Barcelona, in third, are 15 points adrift of Madrid with a game in hand.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti played down the injury concern of talisman Karim Benzema after the Frenchman appeared hurt soon after netting his second goal in a 3-0 win over Real Mallorca.

Benzema scored twice in five second-half minutes to put the game beyond Madrid's hosts on Monday, but he looked in some discomfort while celebrating Los Blancos' third goal.

Soon after, in the 85th minute, Benzema departed having indicated a problem with his calf, forcing Madrid to close out the match with 10 men as they had already used their five permitted substitutions.

The two goals moved Benzema's season tally to 22 in 25 LaLiga matches, and although Ancelotti admitted they are in "wait and see" mode, he does not expect anything serious.

A major problem for their key man would be a significant blow for Madrid ahead of Sunday's El Clasico.

"We have to evaluate him in the next few days – things don't seem very serious," Ancelotti said.

"Karim did not feel good after a jump – we have to wait until Wednesday [to learn more]."

Real Madrid now sit 10 points clear of second-placed Sevilla but face a serious test of their credentials next with the visit of a resurgent Barcelona.

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."

Carlo Ancelotti hailed Karim Benzema as a "fantastic leader" after the Real Madrid striker's sensational hat-trick dumped Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League on Wednesday.

PSG looked on course of the last eight when Kylian Mbappe put them 2-0 up on aggregate late in the first half.

Los Blancos roared back in the second period, though, thanks to Benzema's hat-trick – the second and third of which came within the space of just 106 seconds.

It saw him become the oldest scorer of a hat-trick in Champions League history (aged 34 years and 80 days), 17 days older than Olivier Giroud in December 2020 for Chelsea against Sevilla.

The treble also saw him move above Alfredo Di Stefano into third on Madrid's all-time top goalscorer list with 309.

Ancelotti was full of praise for the talismanic striker as Madrid overturned a first-leg deficit in a Champions League knockout tie for only the fourth time.

"Karim Benzema is a fantastic leader, a fantastic centre forward," he told reporters. 

"I'm very happy with what he's doing and his attitude.

"After the first goal, we got into a good dynamic, we pressed and controlled the ball better. We had fewer difficulties in the second half compared to the first. 

"At half-time, we said to ourselves that we had to stay in the game, even if it was difficult, thinking that something could happen.

"PSG are a great team with great players, but that's football, every little thing can change everything like that first goal."

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino was adamant Madrid's first goal should have been ruled out for a foul by Benzema on goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, but Ancelotti did not agree with his opposite number. 

Asked if it was a foul, the Italian said: "I don't think so.

"We suffered a lot, but we held on. It was difficult to hold the ball, we tried to press then Karim's good pressure gave us the opportunity to win the game. During the last half hour, there was only one team on the field."

Benzema's third sparked jubilant scenes at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Ancelotti describing the stadium as "magic". 

"I have played many games in this competition and many difficult ones like this," he added. "This stadium has magic; it has a very beautiful history and that is what happens. Hopefully it will not be the last night like this."

Madrid return to domestic action on Monday when they visit Real Mallorca. 

Carlo Ancelotti is confident Real Madrid will knock Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League and says Toni Kroos will only play if he is fully fit.

PSG will start the second leg at Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday with a 1-0 lead courtesy of Kylian Mbappe's brilliant late winner three weeks ago.

Madrid might be facing a bigger challenge to reach the quarter-finals if Thibaut Courtois had not saved a Lionel Messi penalty at the Parc des Princes.

LaLiga leaders Madrid will be without the suspended Casemiro when they face Mauricio Pochettino's side and fellow midfielder Kroos missed the 4-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad on Saturday due to a hamstring injury.

Kroos has returned to training, but Ancelotti refused to state whether he will play against the Italian's former employers.

"If a player isn't 100 per cent fit he can't play, so we'll have to wait and see," he said.

Los Blancos have won three consecutive games since their defeat in the French capital and Ancelotti believes that run will continue.

The ex-PSG head coach said: "We want to stay alive in this competition. It's massive for us, massive for the club. we don't want to be knocked out of such an important competition.

"Life will go on and hopefully we will still be in competition. I am confident we will qualify, but PSG will also be confident."

Madrid look unstoppable in their quest to win LaLiga and Ancelotti is hopeful that will not be the only trophy they can get their hands on this season.

"I think we are having a good season, it has been good so far and every time we do something there is always a 'but'," he added.

"If Karim [Benzema] doesn't score [there is] a 'but', there are lots of opinions out there. I think we are having a good season and hopefully these last two months we can end the season on a high."

Benzema says Madrid were hurt by their loss in the French capital but does not expect more pain if Los Blancos play to the best of their ability.

The striker explained: "We are a proud team and that defeat hurt us, but we know that the best Real Madrid can compete with the best PSG. We saw the best PSG in the first leg and hopefully we will see the best Real Madrid on Wednesday."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.