Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said his team are still hungry for success ahead of its Spanish Super Cup final showdown against rivals Barcelona on Sunday.
The Catalans failed to win a trophy last season and are looking for their first since coach Xavi arrived in November 2021, while Real Madrid won a Champions League and La Liga double.
The sides meet in a Clasico at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Ancelotti thinks his players will be equally motivated, despite their success.
“We are talking about players that started winning in 2013, have kept winning and have never filled their stomachs and they never will fill them,” Ancelotti told reporters Saturday.
“We are at a very demanding club that doesn’t allow you to think your stomach is full.”
Madrid are the record 14 time-Champions League winners, with five of those trophies arriving from 2014 onwards.
“All titles are important for this club, titles give motivation, confidence, there’s a lot at stake in this game,” continued Ancelotti.
“We fight each day for this, to get to a final. The team is motivated and comfortable too, because we are used to playing under this type of pressure, that’s why we have a lot of confidence.”
Ancelotti has a fine record in finals, having lost just one of the last 10 in which his teams have competed in -- against Atletico Madrid in the 2014 Spanish Super Cup.
“Statistics are there to be changed,” Barcelona coach Xavi told a news conference.
“It is a difficult game but I want to think positively. I have to remember that I have had a lot of luck too in finals.
“We have to take stock of where we are, that we have Real Madrid in front of us is a huge motivation.”
Real Madrid beat Valencia on penalties to reach the final on Wednesday, and a day later Barcelona triumphed against Real Betis on spot-kicks as well.
Xavi was filmed shouting at his players during a team-talk in the break in extra-time against Betis.
“I would change myself for one of them, even one on the bench who was only getting a few minutes,” said Xavi.
“This is what you think about as a child, this is why we play, to show you’re at a great level, to be important.
“As a coach you suffer a lot more. The other day I was angry because in some way the players thought they should not be in that situation.
“I tried to connect them to what was at stake.”
Xavi said winning in the final would mean more to Barcelona because the opponent was Madrid.
“We have not won a trophy for a long time, we have to show that we want it, that is non-negotiable,” added the coach.
“Tomorrow is a great opportunity, we have to do everything we can to be able to win this final, we’re especially excited for it and with it being Madrid too, it would mean lot to Barcelona.”