Real's former manager Carlo Ancelotti

Image: AFP

Carletto is the second manager to have won the European Cup three times. As a player, the midfielder was captain of AS Roma and got them to the final of the European Cup. He moved to AC Milan where he was part of the squad that won back-to-back European Cups in the late 80s. Those were the days when the Calcio Serie A was the most powerful league in world soccer. Sides like Milan and Inter, Roma and Sampdoria dominated the world. Carlo Ancelotti earned his stripes as a player. He won it all.

Winning as a player wasn’t enough for him though. The Reggiolo-born legend moved into management and quickly showed himself to be adept at maneuvering his sides to success. He gained promotion for his 1st side, Reggiana. He moved to Parma and got them into the Champions League. He moved to Juventus where he was fired at halftime of the final game of the season. Then Milan came calling and Carlo Ancelotti really started to show off his coaching abilities. In his time coaching Milan, he got them 2 European Cups. He moved onto Chelsea where he became the first Italian manager to win the EPL. After his brief sojourn in England, he moved to France and won PSG Ligue 1. The biggest club in the world came calling shortly after and King Carlo was able to win Real Madrid a cup double of Copa Del Rey (versus FC Barcelona) and La Decima, their tenth European Cup title which came against city rivals Atletico.

Ancelotti is a winner. He won as a player and he has won as a coach. He has the ability to relate to his players in ways that draws them close to him. He is a coaching chameleon, a man who molds his sides to play in whatever formation best fits their squad resources. He does whatever it takes to bring out the best in his teams and whatever it takes to win.

This season was a problem though. His Real Madrid side suffered a rash of injuries to key players and that negatively impacted Los Blancos. Despite getting them to the semi-finals of the European Cup and 2nd place in the La Liga (finishing 2 points behind FC Barcelona), he was fired. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez seemed at a loss for words on why he was handing Ancelotti his P45 but many saw this coming. Real Madrid are a different beast from any other side in the world of soccer. The pressure and demands of the club are such that even the slightest failures result in retribution for the man in charge. Great coaches like Vicente Del Bosque, Fabio Capello, Manuel Pellegrini, Guus Hiddink, and Jose Mourinho among many others have gotten a swift boot for failing to live up to the dreams of one Real president or the other. Ancelotti may have gotten the Madrid giants ‘La Decima’ but that was never going be enough to save him after a trophyless season. Real Madrid will look to the next ‘victim’ of their hot seat. It could be true Madridista like Rafa Benitez or Zinedine Zidane, or they could opt for the hard metal style of Jurgen Klopp. Either way, Los Merengues will be just fine, they didn’t get to be the biggest side in the globe by mistake. They may seem crazy and harsh but you can’t argue with their results over the years.

As for King Carlo, he says he’ll take some time off but coaching is addictive and he’ll be back sooner rather than later. He’s coached in England, Spain, Italy, and France. His stock is higher now than when he took the job at Real Madrid. He will have his pick of clubs and you can only hope that his next landing spot is at your favorite club. Winning is virtually guaranteed when he comes to town.


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