Carlo Ancelotti says Real Madrid will approach Wednesday’s Uefa Champions League match at Ludogorets Razgrad with urgency.
The European champions opened their title defence in emphatic fashion a fortnight ago, discarding Swiss outfit Basel 5-1 at the Estadio Santiago Bernebeu to go top of of Group B.
A late Steven Gerrard penalty rocked visiting Ludogorets’ boat at Liverpool’s Anfield but the 2-1 outcome in the encounter was considered by many as a fair result for the Belgian A Group champions, who will be hoping to improve on their debut result in their first ever home match in the group stages of the Champions League.
Ancelotti, wary of the challenges presented by the trip to the 6,500 capacity Ludogorets Arena in Razgrad, has charged his wards to maintain focus.
“I don’t think there are any modest teams in this competition. We knew how difficult it is to play at Anfield and Ludogorets played a very good game there,” said Ancelotti. “Our objective is to win to put us in a good position in the group.”
Real will once again be counting on Cristiano Ronaldo to help ignite movement on the forward line. The Portuguese winger has scored 13 goals in nine appearances this season, including back-to-back hat-tricks in last week’s thrashing of Deportivo la Coruna and Elche.
Speaking ahead of the game at Ludogorets, the Italian coach described Ronaldo as the best player he has ever coached.
He said: “Without disrespecting anyone else, Cristiano is the best player I have coached. He fights for the shirt and he is a leader. Although he doesn’t talk a lot, he leads by example.”
On Gareth Bale, who has five goals to his credit, Ancelotti added: “There are moments in a game where you are not at 100 per cent, but he is having a great season, just like his teammates. He is working hard, scoring goals and I don’t have anything I have to explain to him. He knows very well what he has to do and I am satisfied with what he is doing.”