Real Madrid take on Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals. Just like last year, they will face a London rival in the top eight and, given the Blues’ poor form, the defending champions are the clear favourites. But that’s what Real’s players are used to, according to David Alaba.
The Champions League is Real Madrid’s home ground. Since 2014, the trophy has been donned in white at Madrid’s Cibeles Square five times.
Overall, Real Madrid is the most successful team in the competition with 14 trophies. Second-placed AC Milan have half as many, followed by Bayern and Liverpool, who have collected six titles.
So logically there is a lot of pressure on Los Blancos, year after year. As soon as the Champions League is not won, it is seen as a failure, as soon as it is won, they almost immediately think of the next trophy.
And in the quarter-finals against a struggling Chelsea, Real are the clear favourites. The Blues have already replaced two coaches this season and are languishing in 11th place in the Premier League, with a smaller points difference between Chelsea and 17th-placed Everton (12) than between the Blues and fifth-placed Tottenham (14).
At the press conference, Real Madrid stopper David Alaba was asked how he perceived the favourite’s position. “Real Madrid is almost always the favourite. We have to live with the pressure, but we like it and we believe in ourselves. I hope we can succeed tomorrow,” said the Austrian stopper.
Former Chelsea stopper and current Real Madrid defender Antonio Rüdiger said Real Madrid’s opponents are afraid of the Santiago Bernabéu. How does his fellow defensive back four player see it?
“I don’t think they’re completely scared, but we’re trying to impress them in our stadium. It’s a special place, it’s not easy for opponents to play in front of our fans,” Alaba said.
Source: MARCA, UEFA
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