Zambrotta: Ancelotti a true great but I hope Juve knock him out

The former Italy star says he wants to see a repeat of the 2003 semi-final when he helped the Old Lady to victory over Madrid’s galacticos

Former Juventus defender Gianluca Zambrotta has praised his “great” old boss Carlo Ancelotti, but concedes he hopes Real Madrid take the Liga crown rather than the Champions League.

Zambotta enjoyed two spells under Ancelotti, at Juve and Milan, either side of a spell with Madrid’s rivals Bracelona.

And the 2006 World Cup winner says he is hopeful the Turin giants can see off Ancelotti’s side in the Champions League semi-finals in May.

“Carlo is a great coach and a great person. I was fortunate to work with him both at Juve is at Milan and I assure you that very few know the game like him,” Zambotta told La Gazzetta dello Sport

“He won the Champions League last year and now I hope it will be Juve’s turn. For Ancelotti, I hope he can win la Liga.”

The clash will be a rematch of the 2003 Champions League semi-final, in which Zambrotta’s Juve side sealed a place in the final with a 3-1 victory over Madrid’s galacticos at the Delle Alpi.

“Del Bosque fielded champions like Ronaldo, [Zinedine] Zidane, Raul, Luis Figo and Roberto Carlos, but we were strong and had already eliminated Barcelona in the quarterfinals, which gave us even more confidence,” Zambotta continued. 

“It was a historic match, one of the most beautiful Juventus have ever played in the Champions League.”

Juve went on to lose to Ancelotti’s Milan on penalties in the final and are back in the last four for the first time since then.

They will once again be underdogs but Zambrotta is hopeful Carlos Tevez and former Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, who masterminded the last-16 triumph over Borussia Dortmund, can fire them into the final in Berlin. 

“Yes [Tevez is the star] but to get to this point of the season everyone has been were important: the explosion of Morata, the compactness of the defence and the work of the midfield.”

Juve and Real Madrid first European Cup meeting came in 1962 when los Blancos advanced thanks to a 3-1 victory in Paris after both legs were claimed 1-0 by the away sides. 

The Spaniards narrowly lead the head-to-head record in the competition with eight victories to Juve’s seven.

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04 2015
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