Coach becomes champion with Real Madrid: Carlo Ancelotti is Carlo Magno – Sport

Carlo Ancelotti, 62, has seen a lot in the world of football and also won a lot. But what happened on Saturday was also special to him: “Winning at the Bernabeu is something special, and being a coach here is too,” he said: “I still do not believe in it!” Which of course contained remnants of coquetry, he is not just anyone in the history of football.

Although: If you remember, it was somewhat surprising that Real Madrid last summer resorted to Ancelotti, who had been coach at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu from 2013 to 2015. At the time, he won “only” the Champions League – the famous “Décima” , the tenth of 13 continental crowns – but not what he has now achieved: the Spanish championship title with Real Madrid.

There are those who say that this time it is striker Karim Benzema’s league or left-back Marcelo (who is now the player with the most titles in Real Madrid’s history, ahead of the recently deceased Paco Gento: 24), or the league of the phenomenal midfielder Luka Modric, the gradually electrifying Vinícius Jr. or the fascinating flawless goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Only: That’s not true.

Why was he going to Bavaria? “I wanted to revolutionize the team, that was not what the club wanted.”

This was Carlo Ancelotti’s league. Because he is now the only coach in world history to have won the league title in all five major European leagues: in his home country Italy (AC Milan, 2004), in England (Chelsea FC, 2010), in France (Paris Saint-Germain), 2013), in Germany (FC Bayern, 2017) and now also in Spain. “Carlo V.”, the newspapers write, in German: Charlemagne, Carlo Magno. And Ancelotti was moved to tears. “It’s genetic, it also happened to my father and grandfather. And it just means I’m happy. I like what I do,” said Ancelotti, who was born in Reggiolo, a town in Emilia Romagna, and learned to work, wait. and live as the son of a farmer.

You could clearly hear that a few days ago, when he looked back on 27 years as a coach in an interview for the TV show “Universo Valdano”. Strange and human things came up. For example, when he talked about England, where he became the first Italian to win the Premier League and later also coached Everton FC. Even without Covid, you live there “as in a permanent pandemic,” he said.

Now also at the fountain: Carlo Ancelotti celebrates Madrid’s championship in the traditional way.

(Photo: Isabel Infantes / Reuters)

On the other hand: To save the honor of the English, one must take into account that he also worked one of the most outgoing places in the world: in Naples, “the best city in the world to go on holiday”, as Ancelotti judged: “I trained in the afternoon and then took the boat to Capri for dinner. ” Coincidentally or not, he did not win a title there. Munich was somewhere in between: “The city? Spectacular. The club? Spectacular!” The boss at the time, “Kalle” Rummenigge, was “a footballer who knows how to run a club and a locker room”. And yet, Ancelotti was fired from there after a little more than a year, something he has rarely talked about before.

“What happened? There are moments when you think you need to change the team a little, you need freshness,” Ancelotti said. “My idea was to revolutionize the team a bit, and that was not what the club wanted.” In addition, what often happens has happened: “A great player has a hard time understanding when the moment has come to a stop.” He left it open who he meant by that. In any case, the oldest team members at the time were Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry.

He left no doubt that he loved working for FC Bayern. He prefers clubs where the president is a fan to any businessman like Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich: “I’d rather work in a family than in an industry.” And yet: he lacked one degree or another of heat in Germany. The atmosphere in the stadiums was “cozy but a bit cold”, the organization of German football was generally “perfect”, and when Jorge Valdano, the host of the lecture, wanted to know what the profile of the German footballer was, Ancelotti said: “The German player profile is a german player profile, “said Ancelotti. Say: “Mechanical?” asked Valdano. And Ancelotti replied, “Not very creative. A soldier.”

He can’t do much with the amount of football data: “You don’t have to make things harder than they are.”

If anything is far from Ancelotti, it is a general’s manners and tone. “He’s like a father who can also be strict, but is warm, funny, kind,” goalkeeper Courtois said on Saturday. Ancelotti himself said that it was important for him to distinguish “between the person and the player” – just as he was “a person who played football”, he was also “a person who was a coach” and “does not put people on the bench, but the football player “.

Players do not always understand that distinction, he said, but apparently he understands players. “Football is not that hard, it’s easy,” said Ancelotti, abstracting the piles of data his assistant and son Davide chew on him: “You do not have to make things harder than they are.” Which may be because Carlo Ancelotti remembers what it was like when football revolutionary Arrigo Sacchi, for whom he first worked as a player and later as an assistant coach, studied tactics at AC Milan.

“Once he asked us what we wanted to do. A training match, we said.” The next day, Sacchi actually let the team play eleven against eleven at the end of training. But Sacchi left the training ground. He himself is “not an obsessive coach”, says Ancelotti, for him the job is “not work and not a sacrifice I make: it’s passion”.

Like winning has become a passion: He is the only coach to have won three Champions League titles with two different clubs (Milan and Real Madrid). On Wednesday, he must catch up with a 2-3 draw against Manchester City in the semi-final in Madrid to reach the best final. Ancelotti is in good spirits: “Here in Madrid you have to hurry to party …” he said, referring to the fact that Real Madrid never rests on their laurels. Should he win the pot, he would be the only coach with four Champions League titles.

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