Turkey will host Champions League final in August

Ancelotti: Juventus high quality


Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said the time has come to separate the men from the boys when his side face Juventus in the semifinals of the Champions League on Tuesday night.

As defending champions, the Merengues go into their last-four encounter regarded as favourites against a Juventus side few would have expected to get this far, but Ancelotti said that his team must rise to the occasion, or else they could see their dreams of becoming the first side to defend their title shattered in Turin.

"If you have courage you win, if you have fear you lose," said the Italian coach in Turin. "If Juve impose themselves, then they have more chance of winning; if we succeed in imposing ourselves then we have more of a chance.

"The most important thing is to play the best we can and show that quality we've got. Juventus have always had a strong, competitive side so it's hard to win here. Having said this, we want to realise a dream after winning the Champions League last year by playing another final this year. There are 180 minutes between us reaching that objective."

Karim Benzema has been left behind in Madrid due to injury, but Gareth Bale is fit and ready to start, although Ancelotti would not reveal his cards.

"I've decided on my team, but I'm not going to tell you," he quipped, stating only that he will not be influenced by how Juve might approach the game.

"Juve are one of the few sides who have no problem switching between three or four defenders," he said. "We're focusing on all of Juventus' players -- [Carlos] Tévez, [Andrea] Pirlo, [Arturo] Vidal, [Gianluigi] Buffon -- we've got to consider them all. But we've just got to try to impose our own style and rhythm on the game.

"At the moment we're in good shape. We had a bit of a problem in January and February, but the players are confident. We had some injuries, but we were able to replace them really well. We have this opportunity to reach the final to try to fight to win another Champions League. Nobody has had this opportunity in this competition. We know it will be really, really difficult, but we are really close also."

If they succeed, they would prolong Pirlo's career in Italy. The midfielder told La Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday that he might bow out of the Italian game if he gets his hand on the Champions League trophy in Berlin, while also paying tribute to his "father" figure Ancelotti.

"I read today that he considers me as a father," Ancelotti said. "Well I consider him as a brother."

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