Ancelotti 'very difficult’ decision for Madrid ahead of Champions League final

MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti knows he will have a tough decision to make on Saturday’s Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund.

Will he choose Andriy Lunin, who has played almost the entire season in goal, or Thibaut Courtois, a veteran who has previously won the Champions League but is returning from injury?

„It’s very difficult,” Ancelotti said on Monday. „Of course it’s very difficult because they both deserve to play in this final. Everyone knows the quality of Courtois as Lunin has had a fantastic season and Courtois is coming back from injury. It’s a tough decision, but I think I’m going to make this decision in the game, no doubt.

Suffering from flu, Looney was the only Madrid player not to train on Monday as Madrid began its final week of preparations. But Ancelotti said the 25-year-old Ukrainian was expected to be available for Saturday’s final in London.

The illness certainly doesn’t help Lunin’s chances and many had already expected Ancelotti to go with the more experienced Courtois despite his lack of minutes this season.

Courtois broke a Left hamstring In August, two days before the start of the season. The 32-year-old Belgian ruptured the meniscus in his right knee in March, just as he was close to making a comeback.

He was sidelined until earlier this month, when he started in the 3-0 win over Cádiz, which secured Madrid’s victory. 36th Spanish League title.

Lunin scored again Madrid defeated Bayern Munich In the semi-finals of the Champions League. He saved two decisive penalties Beat Manchester City in a shootout In the quarter finals.

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Lun took the starting spot ahead of Madrid’s other reserve goalkeeper, former Chelsea man Keba Arrizabalaga. Ancelotti said Lunin is the best goalkeeper in the world right now.

Courtois has proven experience in finals, with Madrid winning the 2022 Champions League, the FA Cup with Chelsea, the Europa League with Atletico Madrid, and two Copa del Rey titles (one for Madrid, one for Atletico). Topics.

„Both deserve to play for different reasons,” Ancelotti said.

Ancelotti will wait as long as possible to announce the starting goalkeeper, otherwise the debate will be over, and „I love the debate,” joked Ancelotti.

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AP Football: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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