Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said his team is still hungry for success ahead of their Spanish Super Cup final showdown against Barcelona on Sunday.
The Catalans failed to win a trophy last season and are seeking their first since coach Xavi arrived in November 2021, while Real Madrid won a Champions League and La Liga double.
The teams meet in a Clasico at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Ancelotti believes his players will be just as motivated, despite their success.
“We are talking about players who started winning in 2013, have kept winning and have never filled their stomachs and will never fill them,” Ancelotti told reporters on Saturday.
“We are in a very demanding club that does not allow you to think that you have a full stomach.”
Madrid is a record 14-time Champions League winner, with five of those trophies coming from 2014 onwards.
“All titles are important for this club, titles give motivation, confidence, there is a lot at stake in this game,” Ancelotti continued.
“We fight every day for that, to reach a final. The team is motivated and comfortable too, because we are used to playing with this kind of pressure, that’s why we have a lot of confidence”.
Ancelotti has a good record in finals, having lost just one of the last 10 his teams have competed in: against Atlético Madrid in the 2014 Spanish Super Cup.
“Statistics are there to be changed,” Barcelona coach Xavi told a press conference.
“It’s a tough match, but I want to think positive. I have to remember that I was also very lucky in the finals.”
“We have to take stock of where we are, having Real Madrid in front of us is enormous motivation.”
– Great opportunity –
Real Madrid beat Valencia on penalties to reach the final on Wednesday, and a day later Barcelona beat Real Betis also on penalties.
Xavi was filmed yelling at his players during a group chat at the break in extra time against Betis.
“I would change for one of them, even one on the bench who only had a few minutes,” said Xavi.
“This is what you think as a child, that’s why we play, to show that you are at a high level, to be important.
“As a coach you suffer much more. The other day he was angry because somehow the players thought they shouldn’t be in that situation.
“I tried to connect them with what was at stake.”
Xavi said that winning in the final would mean more for Barcelona because the opponent was Madrid.
“It’s been a long time since we won a trophy, we have to show that we want it, that’s not negotiable,” added the coach.
“Tomorrow is a great opportunity, we have to do everything possible to win this final, we are especially excited about it and being Madrid too, it would mean a lot to Barcelona.”