Ronald Koeman Admits to Pressure, Carlo Ancelotti Says Nerves Natural


FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman admitted he was under extreme pressure ahead of Sunday afternoon’s meeting with traditional rivals Real Madrid at the Camp Nou Stadium. Barca go into the game after consecutive wins against Valencia and Dynamo Kiev, but defeat against Real Madrid would leave them five points behind their rivals in La Liga and with an important blow to their morale. “It’s impossible for me to have more pressure,” said Koeman, adding that “when you are the coach of Barca, you have to live with that and I know how important all of this is.”

“I have won many Clasico as a player and you have to try and enjoy it,” said the Barca coach, who failed to beat Real Madrid in their two meetings last season.

“This is my first Clasico as a coach with public in the stands and that makes it different. We have to have the desire to win the game,” said Koeman, who has been given another vote of confidence by club president Joan Laporta.

“He doesn’t have to say every day that I am going to continue, but I feel supported by the president and the club, although we all know that everything depends on results,” he concluded.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti told the press that his side was “preparing for a special game, with intensity and focusing on using good strategy.”

He said winger Eden Hazard and defender Dani Carvajal were fit enough to be included in his squad, but insisted there was no clear favourite to the game, despite Barca struggling for form this season, reports Xinhua.

“There is no favourite in this kind of game,” he said, before explaining that games against Barca were “the only times in my life,” that he chewed gum.

“It’s normal to be worried, even a bit scared. If you aren’t scared, sometimes to face up to a lion thinking it’s a pussycat,” he joked, before insisting that he had “a strong team, with quality.”

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