Champions League: Respect from Don Carlo: Leipzig must “go to the limit”

For title collector Carlo Ancelotti, the matter with RB Leipzig is far from clear.

Champions League: Respect from Don Carlo: Leipzig must “go to the limit”

For title collector Carlo Ancelotti, the matter with RB Leipzig is far from clear. “We have to be careful in the second leg,” the successful Real Madrid coach warned his stars before the decisive round of 16 game on Wednesday (9 p.m./DAZN).

After the 1-0 win in the first leg, it seems that the Royal team's progress is only a formality, but the Leipzig team have earned a lot of respect from "Don Carlo". “Simply a strong opponent” is the Bundesliga fifth-place finisher, said the 64-year-old.

Accordingly, the people of Leipzig have not given up yet. RB will “go to the limit in all areas,” said head coach Marco Rose. "We shouldn't just hope, we should also believe in it. We have to believe in producing an exceptionally strong performance on the pitch, but we also need luck. In the first leg we showed that we can play on equal terms," ​​said Rose in Madrid.

Olmo before special evening

A Spaniard wants to provide special impetus at RB. "It's a special scenario, the second leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League here at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Of course I hope that we win," said Spanish international Dani Olmo, who was trained at FC Barcelona's La Masia youth academy. "It's the first time that I have the opportunity to be here in my home country and to be here at the Bernabéu. I feel very good, I'm very motivated," said Olmo.

He didn't want to reveal anything about the match plan. We expect a very vertical, attacking Madrid. Our game has to be perfect in order to progress. We hope that we are efficient and effective. Ancelotti warned against arrogance. Ancelotti emphasized that they knew that Leipzig were dangerous and could, among other things, switch quickly and well from defense to attack. "But we have to put our best foot forward. The matter has not yet been decided."

The outsider has known how to beat Real since their 3-2 home win in the group stage last year. RB had also sold themselves dearly at the Bernabéu in the previous season before two brilliant moments from Fede Valverde and Marco Asensio made it 2-0 late on. Even if Marco Rose's team can achieve a lot with energy, pressing and unity, Real is probably better staffed individually in all positions.

RB minimum target in danger

If the European Cup trip ends in Madrid, the Leipzig team will only have another mission to the premier class. In the Bundesliga, RB is currently one point behind fourth-placed Dortmund, and qualifying for the Champions League again is the club's top priority. It would be the seventh time in eight seasons. But achieving this minimum goal is also questionable.

Participation on Europe's biggest football stage is an absolute must to keep stars like Olmo. The Dutchman Xavi Simons, who, like his friend Olmo, was trained in Barcelona, ​​is also arousing the desires of other top clubs. "Xavi and I are friends, even off the pitch," said the Spaniard.

Real star Bellingham with anger in his stomach

The 20-year-old Simons is the third best player in the Champions League with 15 shots on goal and 15 assists in these categories. So far this season, only Johan Bakayoko (21/16) from PSV Eindhoven and Real star Jude Bellingham (16/15) have been better than the loan from Paris Saint-Germain. The England international missed the first leg with an ankle injury and is now back in the Real squad.

After his sending off in Valencia and his goal being disallowed, he has a lot of anger in his stomach. Rose knows him well from their time together in Dortmund. "A super boy with a very fine character, a warrior who wants to win every game. I wouldn't have thought that he would have such a special role at Real in his first year," said Rose.

The expected lineups:

Real Madrid: Lunin - Carvajal, Tchouameni, Rüdiger, Mendy - Valverde, Kroos, Camavinga - Bellingham - Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior

RB Leipzig: Gulacsi - Henrichs, Orban, Lukeba, Raum - Schlager, Haidara - Olmo, Simons - Openda, Sesko

Referee: Davide Massa (Italy)