HELSINKI: Real Madrid are determined not to be knocked down at the top of European football this season as they prepare to start their campaign against Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup in Helsinki on Wednesday.
Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, who is the only manager to have won the Champions League four times, said his side’s 1-0 victory over Liverpool in last season’s final gave him “the impression that no one should ever take your place”.
“And that’s a pretty strong motivation to keep winning,” he said in an interview with UEFA.com.
Ancelotti returned for a second spell in charge of Real before last season and led them to their 35th Spanish title.
However, it was in Europe that Real really impressed, securing comeback wins over Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City before beating the heavily favored Reds in the final.
“All the returns we have made have been made in our stadium, thanks to that boost that came from the stands. Always believe, never give up. After all, we played against very strong teams. It was inevitable that we suffer,” he said.
The Italian coach said he had seen echoes of Real’s fighting spirit in underdog opponents Frankfurt and was aware of not taking last season’s Europa League winners lightly.
“Last year Eintracht achieved something special because they weren’t among the favourites,” added Ancelotti, whose side recently returned from a pre-season tour of the United States. .
Wednesday’s match will be played at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, where Frankfurt will make their Super Cup debut in their first competitive meeting with Madrid since the legendary 1960 European Cup final which the Spanish giants won 7-3 .
Real will be making their eighth Super Cup appearance, having lifted the trophy four times.
Ancelotti himself is undefeated in the Super Cup final. He won two with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007, as well as with Real in 2014.
With Real facing a side that have progressed to the final after lifting their first European trophy in 42 years, Ancelotti said Frankfurt had the advantage ahead of Wednesday’s clash in Helsinki.
“We have a bit more disadvantage than Eintracht, who start their season earlier, but we will play to win,” he said.
Although Madrid’s La Liga campaign does not begin until Sunday when they take on newly-promoted Almeria, Frankfurt fans may wonder what advantage they have following Friday’s 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in the their opening match of the Bundesliga season. .
Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp says his side won’t be intimidated against Madrid and are relishing the experience ahead of what will be their maiden Champions League campaign this year.
They knocked out Barcelona on their way to winning the Europa League last season, beating Rangers on penalties in the Sevilla final.
“We want to be a team that is difficult to play against, that fights and never gives up. Of course we have respect, but not fear,” the former PSG goalkeeper told the website. Eintracht Frankfurt in an interview published on Sunday.
Trapp, who alongside former Bayern and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Goetze is one of the few players with Champions League experience in the ranks of Eintracht, said his team deserved his place in the centerpiece of the season.
“Playing in the Super Cup means that you have succeeded, that you have deserved it and that you have done a good job. To have the opportunity at this stage of the season to win a trophy against this club (Madrid) does not not better.