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May 1, 2014

Ancelotti: No favourites for the final

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno looks at both sides of the coin when it comes to the Champions League Final.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti felt Atletico Madrid were deserving winners against Chelsea and insisted his side cannot be considered favourites for the final.

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Ancelotti is looking forward to an all-Madrid Champions League final in Lisbon later this month and, speaking after Atletico’s 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge, the Italian said Real’s city rivals outperformed his former club on Wednesday.

“I think if Chelsea had qualified, they would have had more experience but less enthusiasm and quality than Atletico,” Ancelotti, who managed the Blues from 2009 to 2011, told Sky Sport Italia. “They are two sides with similar characteristics. Atletico deserved to win, though -- they were simply better and deserve to be in the final. Everybody in Madrid's happy now.

“There can't be a favourite in a game like the final, especially against a side who are doing very well. It's going to be a very uncertain and even game.”

Ancelotti said he has only positive memories of his time at Chelsea, where he won the Premier League and FA Cup in 2010.

“When one door closes, a bigger one opens,” he said. “That's what happened with me, but I want to emphasise that I was treated like a king at Chelsea. Of course there are moments of disappointment when you leave a club and of course you're not happy, but only for brief moments.

“I'm now working for maybe the biggest club in the world, doing all I can to take them as high as we can possibly go. Football has given me a great deal and I've been extremely fortunate. I've relaxed a lot as a person and that's crucial in football as it allows you to see things in the right way. I'm quite reserved about reaching the final, even if it's hugely satisfying to take Real there for the first time in 12 years.”

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