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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has expressed caution ahead of the UEFA Champions League final, acknowledging that their attempt to secure a record-extending 15th European title “could go wrong” on Saturday.

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Ancelotti, whose only loss in a final came when AC Milan squandered a 3-0 lead to Liverpool in 2005, has won the Champions League twice with AC Milan and twice with Real Madrid. He also won the tournament twice as a player for the Italian club. Despite his success, the experienced 64-year-old calls the Champions League final the “most dangerous” game in European club football.

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“It’s a double-edged sword,” Ancelotti remarked, as his side prepares to face Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium, where they are the favorites. “We need to enjoy it to the maximum. Then concern starts – it could go wrong. We are so close to the most important thing in football – winning the Champions League.

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“Of course, there is fear. When you reach a final, success is so close that you start to worry. Concern starts: tonight, tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon. It’s normal. If you have more fear, you’ll be happier if you are able to win in the end.”

Real Madrid, the most successful team in European football history, are seeking their 15th title against Dortmund, who aim to add to their sole triumph from the 1996/97 season.

The Spanish champions have been in strong form, with their only defeat since September coming against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey in January. This success is partly thanks to 23 goals each from Vinicius Jr and summer signing Jude Bellingham.

Dortmund, meanwhile, have had a mixed season, finishing fifth in the Bundesliga and losing seven times, along with two defeats in the Champions League.

Ancelotti’s squad narrowly defeated holders Manchester City in the quarter-finals and overcame six-time champions Bayern Munich in the semi-finals. “Our obsession is to try and compete to give our maximum, as we have done throughout the season,” said Ancelotti. “Sometimes things don’t happen the way you’d like. Winning the Champions League is very, very important and we can already say this team’s season has been really successful, no matter what happens.”

Statistics experts Opta have given Madrid a 63.5% chance of winning the final.

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