Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says that victory in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final against Barcelona would give his side’s bid for La Liga and Champions League glory a mental boost.
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Madrid are second in the Primera Division table, three points behind leaders Atletico Madrid with five games left to play, while they are also through to the last four in Europe where they will face holders Bayern Munich.
Barca, meanwhile, come into the clash reeling from consecutive 1-0 defeats to Atletico Madrid and Granada, which have seen the Catalan club crash out of the Champions League and also slip to third spot in the domestic title race.
Ancelotti told Madrid’s official website that the psychological impact of winning or losing Wednesday’s clasico final at the Mestalla will be huge.
“On a mental level, I think [the final] will be very important,” Ancelotti said. “I think after this game, the side that wins will have more motivation, illusion and desire to play their best until the end of the season. I think from a mental point of view, it will be very important.
“Firstly, it is the first title of the season that we can win. Secondly, because we will take on a great side like Barcelona. All of this gives the game a lot of importance. The possibility of winning the first trophy of the season is motivation for us.”
Barcelona have won the previous two La Liga clashes against Madrid this season, while Los Blancos have happy memories of their last clasico Copa del Rey final meeting -- when Cristiano Ronaldo headed the only goal as his side claimed the trophy at the Mestalla.
Ancelotti, however, feels that past games will not have a big impact on Wednesday’s final.
“I don’t think that there will be a psychological advantage for what happened in the past,” he said. “The present is a complicated game for both Barcelona and Real Madrid. We have to play well, with excitement, motivation and with a lot of concentration to try and win it.”