Ancelotti backs Zidane to take Real Madrid to Champions League semi-final, Hecking sends out warning

Carlo Ancelotti Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid
Carlo Ancelotti feels Zinedine Zidane can take Real Madrid to the semi-finals

Former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti believes Real Madrid can come back from 2-0 down in the first leg to beat Wolfsburg in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final. The Spanish club welcome Dieter Hecking to the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night as they look to qualify for the semi-finals.

Los Blancos were expected to brush aside the Bundesliga club after receiving what seemed like a favourable draw. But a poor display at the Volkswagen Arena saw Wolfsburg score two goals in the first half courtesy of a penalty from Ricardo Rodriguez and a goal from Maximilian Arnold.

History is against Real Madrid with the percentage of teams coming back from 2-0 down in the first leg being very low. But Ancelotti believes Zinedine Zidane has what it takes to get Real Madrid into the semi-finals. The French manager and club legend was an assistant to Ancelotti when the Italian led the club to La Decima – their 10th Champions League crown – in 2014.

“[Zidane] has also experienced these kinds of situations as a player and he knows how pressure needs to be handled in these moments,” Ancelotti said, according to Goal.

“I think Real Madrid have enough quality to do it,” he continued. “They have top players who know how to handle these situations even if the result of the first game wasn't a positive result and it won't be easy in any case.

“Wolfsburg counter-attacked and defended very well in the first leg. It is a very uncertain game but I think Madrid will go through because it is crucial for Los Blancos to reach the semi-finals.”

Wolfsburg’s task is to ensure Real Madrid fail: Hecking

Dieter Hecking Wolfsburg Real Madrid
Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking admits they are not favourites

Speaking ahead of the big match, Wolfsburg manager Dieter Hecking admitted that his side were not favourites to go through.

“Everyone knows that we are not playing perfectly in our league, but that’s compensated by the Champions League,” Hecking said.

“We are playing well and we already had one magnificent day. Now we need another one. We know our league form is not that well, but we hope to move forward in the Champions League.

“Are Madrid favourites? I think so,” he admitted. “Why should we change our opinion?

“If we compare the history of both teams, we know who is favourite. We played well in one match, now we have to do it again. Our task is for the favourite to fail.”

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Edited by Staff Editor
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