Published:  12:00 AM, 19 March 2017

Real return fires up Bayern's Alonso, Ancelotti

Bayern Munich's Carlo Ancelotti and Xabi Alonso are relishing facing their former club Real Madrid when two of the favorites for the Champions League title clash in the quarter-finals.

Holders Real play Bayern away on Wednesday, April 12 at Munich's Allianz Arena with the return at Madrid's Bernabeu six days later in a clash of Europe's titans. Ancelotti led 11-time winners Real to their tenth Champions League title - 'La Decima' - in 2014 with Alonso, who was suspended for the Lisbon final, urging his side on before he joined Bayern for the 2014/15 season.

"It is going to be exciting to play against them. We are very confident and want to win the Champions League this season," said Ancelotti, who also won the European title twice with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007. "I think we have the ability to beat Real Madrid."

 There will be a master verses pupil clash when Bayern take on Real. Real's current coach Zinedine Zidane was Ancelotti's assistant when Madrid lifted the European title three years ago by beating Atletico Madrid 4-1 after extra-time in the final.

Zidane then matched Ancelotti by winning the Champions League in his debut season as head coach last year. Another side plot to the mouth-watering quarter-final sees Bayern's  defensive midfielder Alonso face former team-mates.

Alonso, who also won the 2005 Champions League title with Liverpool, will retire in June and wants to hang up his boots by winning the European title with his third club in the final in Cardiff on June 3. He clearly has no desire to bow out in his final season at the hands of Real's stars such as Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

-AFP, Berlin

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