Champions League

Elimination unthinkable for Madrid

2015-03-09 09:44
Real Madrid (AFP)

Madrid - European champions Real Madrid will expect to take another step closer to becoming the first team in 25 years to retain the Champions League when they host Schalke on Tuesday holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg of their last 16 tie.

Madrid have strung together 10 consecutive victories in Europe stretching back to their successful run to their 10th European Cup last season, but have found the going a lot tougher domestically in 2015.

Los Blancos surrendered their lead at the top of La Liga at the weekend as they were beaten 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao, whilst Barcelona thrashed Rayo Vallecano 6-1.

That was Madrid's fourth defeat in 14 games this year with coach Carlo Ancelotti admitting he was at a loss to explain how his star-studded strike force of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale has so suddenly gone off the boil.

"It seems strange to say Madrid have a problem up front when we have scored so many goals throughout the season, but I think it is the truth," said the Italian on Saturday.

However, captain Iker Casillas has insisted that they won't suffer a hangover from their La Liga woes at the Bernabeu.

"This competition is different. For Madrid fans it means everything," he told the club's website.

Schalke were on the receiving end on Real's run towards the title at the same stage of the competition last season in a 9-2 aggregate hammering.

And Casillas is adamant that Ancelotti's men still have all the qualities required to go all the way once more.

"We know that it will be very difficult but we will fight to achieve it. We are ambitious and we have a mixture of youth and experience so why not?

"Last year we played against teams that had caused us problems in the past and we were capable to play good football and get to the final. We will give everything to get to Berlin.

"We have the team to do it and we hope to repeat the success of last year."

Madrid will be boosted by the return of Luka Modric after over four months out with a torn thigh muscle.

Sergio Ramos also returned to training on Sunday after a month on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, but isn't expected to be risked by Ancelotti with a potentially decisive La Liga clash with Barcelona just 10 days away.

Schalke, meanwhile, enjoyed a far more successful weekend as they registered a first win in five games with a 3-1 victory over Hoffenheim.

That result boosted the Royal Blues chances of a return to the Champions League next season, but left-back Christian Fuchs retains hope a famous comeback at the Bernabeu.

"We travel now to Madrid in a positive frame of mind, no one will bet on us, so maybe there is a chance for us," said the 28-year-old.

Read more on:    real madrid  |  la liga  |  champions league  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.