Carlo Ancelotti highlighted the experience and unity of his Real Madrid side as key to their Super Cup win after goals from David Alaba and Karim Benzema downed Eintracht Frankfurt in Helsinki.
Madrid lifted their fifth Super Cup on Wednesday as Ancelotti, who also won the competition in 2003 and 2007 with Milan and 2014 with Los Blancos, became the first coach to claim four victories in the European season’s curtain-raiser.
Benzema’s goal sealed a 2-0 win and moved him clear of Raul as Real Madrid’s second highest all-time goalscorer, with only Cristiano Ronaldo (450) now bettering his tally of 324 strikes for the club.
But Madrid could have gone behind early on when Thibaut Courtois made a fine one-one-one save from Daichi Kamada, and Ancelotti was delighted by the resilience displayed by his team.
“It was a difficult game, at the start they were so close in a low block, and we had difficulty,” he told BT Sport.
“After we scored the first one at the end of the first half, we had more control and deserved to win, we didn’t take risks or play with super intensity, but I think we had good control.”
5/4 – @realmadriden have won the UEFA Super Cup for the fifth time, equalling Barcelona and AC Milan records, and Carlo Ancelottti has become the manager with the most UEFA Super Cup titles (4), overtaking Pep Guardiola (3). Super. pic.twitter.com/C7nmKtHYES
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 10, 2022
Madrid became the first Champions League winners to name the same line-up in the final and the subsequent Super Cup since at least 2006, and the experienced midfield trio of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro quickly established control after Alaba’s opener.
Frankfurt only managed one shot on target after the break, and Ancelotti believes his team’s collective know-how was invaluable.
“They’re used to playing together, they’re comfortable,” he added. “For them, it’s simple to play together, to find the right time of the game to sometimes have a low block or use a counter-attack.
“They are so used to playing together.”
Meanwhile, Ancelotti was asked about the future of his son Davide, Madrid’s assistant coach who proved a lively presence in the technical area throughout.
Ancelotti revealed he sees Davide as having a future as a head coach, insisting: “He’s an assistant now, [but] for sure he will be a coach in the future.
“He is working a lot on the set pieces, he has more energy than me! It’s normal.”
Having already claimed their first trophy of the season, Madrid begin their LaLiga title defence with a trip to Almeria on Sunday.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) August 10, 2022