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Carlo Ancelotti: Madrid - Schalke is more than Ronaldo vs Huntelaar

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Carlo Ancelotti: Madrid - Schalke is more than Ronaldo vs Huntelaar
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Carlo Ancelotti: Madrid - Schalke is more than Ronaldo vs Huntelaar

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti insists Wednesday's Champions League encounter with Schalke is more than just a battle between star forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Former Blancos forward Huntelaar is set to make his first appearance in this season's competition in the last 16, first leg tie in Gelsenkirchen, while Ronaldo is also set to start after sitting out last weekend's Primera Division meeting with Elche, the final game of his three-match ban in La Liga.

While the pre-match focus has been primarily on the duel between the attacking duo, Ancelotti has warned his side against focusing solely on nullifying Huntelaar.

"Ronaldo is especially motivated because he wants to play. He wasn't happy with the sanction. He has trained very well during this time," Ancelotti said at a news conference. "Ronaldo's condition is optimal for tomorrow [Wednesday]. I don't think it's an individual duel between Ronaldo and Huntelaar. Huntelaar is a very good striker, a very good player across the attack, we have to be careful with him. But the match is between Madrid and Schalke."

To that effect, Ancelotti wants his team to keep track of the entire Schalke team.

"Schalke have a very well-organised defense, with very good young players like [Max] Meyer and [Julian] Draxler and others with experience like Huntelaar and [Kevin-Prince] Boateng," he said. "They play concrete football, not spectacular, but solid, with good organisation. They play very well together, they have quality.

"It will be a game with a lot of intensity. Schalke will try to do everything to win, that's clear. We will have to give everything."

Ancelotti, who confirmed Gareth Bale is set to start the match, admitted he is eager for his side to find the missing ingredient in its Champions League endeavors, after being knocked out at the semifinal stage for three consecutive seasons.

"Nothing changes," the Italian said. "I'm here to do my very best in all competitions. Everyone knows the Champions League is the most important competition in the world.

"Reaching the semifinals three times is special, the work was good, but we missed something, I don't know what."

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