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Copa del Rey

This cup final could be my last, says Madrid’s Ancelotti

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti thinks the Copa del Rey final against Osasuna on Saturday could be his last — although he has thought the same in the past and been wrong, he explained Friday.

The 63-year-old Italian, who has won a string of trophies with Los Blancos, Milan, Chelsea and other sides in his storied career, revealed his approach to finals.

“Playing a final is always exciting, I always think before a final that, personally, it could be my last,” said Ancelotti, ahead of the clash at La Cartuja in Seville.

“I thought that in 2003, and it wasn’t the last, and I think that today, it could be the last today.

“You have to enjoy it, and I ask the players to enjoy it too because they are special games.”

Ancelotti lifted his first Coppa Italia as a coach in 2003 with AC Milan, going on to win four Champions League trophies in his glittering career among several other cups.

Madrid’s last Copa del Rey triumph was under Ancelotti in 2014, when they beat rivals Barcelona in the final.

Los Blancos thrashed the Catalans 4-0 at Camp Nou in the semi-final second leg to progress to the final.

In recent years Madrid have paid more attention to the Champions League than other competitions, winning five of the last nine editions.

Madrid host Manchester City in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday but Ancelotti said his team would be completely focused on the Copa final.

“Tomorrow we will go out there without thinking about what’s happening the next day,” insisted Ancelotti.

“We will go out with all the energy in the world to win another title. The players are motivated.”

Ancelotti even said his team needed to celebrate victory if they achieve it, despite the impending clash with Pep Guardiola’s side.

“When you win, you have to celebrate it,” said the coach.

“There are (different) ways of celebrating it — we like to celebrate with the fans.”

The coach reiterated that his Madrid contract expires at the end of next season, when he was asked about his future amid links to the Brazilian national team.

Ancelotti confirmed that midfield maestro Luka Modric was fit to face Osasuna after injury but did not confirm if the Croatian would start, with Madrid aiming to lift the Spanish cup for the 20th time.

The coach did say Austrian defender David Alaba was also fit and would be starting after a calf problem.

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