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Florentino Perez hails Carlo Ancelotti as Real Madrid clinch Champions League

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez (right) with manager Carlo Ancelotti (centre) (Nick Potts/PA)
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez (right) with manager Carlo Ancelotti (centre) (Nick Potts/PA)

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez heaped praise on star man Thibaut Courtois and record-breaking manager Carlo Ancelotti after the club were crowned champions of Europe for the 14th time.

Liverpool’s mammoth season ended in frustration at the Stade de France on Saturday evening, with Vinicius Junior’s strike securing the Spanish champions a 1-0 Champions League final win.

The Brazil international scored the crucial goal but this will go down as the Courtois final after the Real goalkeeper produced the performance of his life to keep Jurgen Klopp’s Reds at bay.

Real Madrid club captain Marcelo lifts the Champions League trophy
Real Madrid club captain Marcelo lifted the Champions League trophy on Saturday night (Adam Davy/PA)

Ancelotti made history with the triumph by becoming the first manager to win the Champions League on four occasions – an achievement that came just a year from leaving Everton to make a shock Bernabeu return.

Real president Perez was beaming after clinching the decimocuarta – the 14th – on a night when the white wall’s celebrations in France were matched by millions of other fans around the world.

“We’ve got very good players, they all deserve credit,” he said. “I’m delighted, just like all the fans will be.

“We’ve fought and worked hard all season to get here. It’s been a good season in general. Won deservedly won LaLiga and we celebrated together. This is all down to the players, the manager and the fans.

“Courtois has had a spectacular season, he’s a true Madridista and, for me, the best goalkeeper in the world and that’s why we brought him here.

“Real Madrid is a way of life. It has values and sometimes unpleasantness, but this communion between players and fans is important.

“(Ancelotti) is a good leader and has very good knowledge of the players’ psychology, Real Madrid and football.

“He’s right when he says that he believes that the biggest difference between Real Madrid and other clubs is that as well as being good professionals, the players are true Madridistas.”

Ancelotti led Real to their 10th European crown in 2014 and oversaw a wild ride to Champions League glory this time around.

Los Blancos had to dig deep to beat Paris St Germain in the round of 16, before knocking out reigning champions Chelsea in the quarter-finals.

A jaw-dropping semi triumph against Manchester City followed before Liverpool were overcome in the Stade de France showpiece.

“They have the biggest budgets and that’s why they have the best players, hence these knock-out rounds being so highly appreciated by everybody,” Perez said of Real’s knockout opponents.

“But here at Madrid, we don’t share dividends, but rather a way of understanding football, our values, commitment, sacrifice, fighting spirit, a union with the fans.

“(These) values we have inherited from Don Santiago Bernabeu, and I can really say, I’ve always tried to rise to the challenge of the path he began to forge.”

Perez’s comments came after a frustrating couple of weeks off the field, having been thwarted in their long pursuit of Kylian Mbappe.

A move to Madrid looked on the cards, only for the 23-year-old to sign a new deal with PSG until 2025.

“Madrid will continue working towards having the very best players here but Mbappe is already in the past,” Perez added. “It’s not an issue. Madrid have had a perfect season.”