Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti becomes first manager to reach five Champions League finals
Carlo Ancelotti is the first manager in history to reach five Champions League finals after overturning the 4-3 deficit against Manchester City in Wednesday’s semi-final at the Santiago Bernabeu
Carlo Ancelotti became a record holder on Saturday after his Real Madrid side secured the La Liga title
After becoming the first coach in history to win all five of Europe’s top-five leagues, Carlo Ancelotti has entered the record books again as his Real Madrid side saw off Man City.
Real’s 4-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday put him alone in managerial history in leading teams from Serie A, the Premier League, Ligue 1, the Bundesliga and La Liga to league titles.
The 62-year-old is already the first man to lead four different clubs to the Champions League semi-finals, and with his side sending City off, he is now the first manager to do so five times.
He was victorious in his first Champions League final with a penalty shoot-out win over Juventus at Old Trafford in 2003, but two years later was beaten on spot kicks after a stunning comeback from Liverpool in Turkey. Another two years on and he got his revenge, as Milan beat the Reds 2-1 in Athens.
Despite his close and long-term relationship with the city of Milan, perhaps his best final was saved for his first spell at the Bernabeu, where he finally helped Real Madrid to ‘La Decima’, their 10th Champions League trophy, an achievement they had waited 12 years to realise.
Eight years on from last lifting the European Cup, Wednesday’s game in Madrid gave him the opportunity to add a fifth winners’ medal to his collection – which would earn him another record in itself.
Spanish football journalist Tom Allnutt told Sky Sports: “When he arrived, it was a fairly underwhelming appointment. He wasn’t unwelcome, no-one was annoyed about it, he is very popular in Madrid with the players, club and journalists but people were a little surprised.
“He’s done a good job, a really good job. The main plus for him has been Vinicius Junior, his form, he’s basically been transformed from what he was under Zidane. They’ve been a lot better defensively; he’s stabilised them at the back which needed doing after they lost Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.
Vinicius has been a huge success for Real Madrid this season – and scored their second goal against Manchester City last week
“More than anything it’s the normal thing with Ancelotti, he’s ridden out any storms and individual instances with players. He has that ability to make everything seem unimportant, which is a real skill and valuable for a coach of Real Madrid. It was one of Zidane’s greatest strengths, to diffuse controversy, keep the players and team away from the noise.
“In part, it’s because he’s 62 years old, and bottom line he doesn’t see it as high-pressure a job as other coaches would when they go through bad patches. He doesn’t have that sense of bitterness or pressure, he’s just really pleased and grateful to have another opportunity to manage Madrid. I think he thought Everton was going to be his level, so it’s worked well for him and for Madrid as well.”
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