Carlo Ancelotti had a remarkable career as a player, which was followed by an even more impressive journey as a coach. The 60-year-old has managed some of the world’s top clubs, including Juventus, Milan, PSG, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Bayern, earning a total of 24 trophies, including three Champions League titles.
During his time at Parma, he had the opportunity to work with Gianfranco Zola, but their collaboration didn’t go as smoothly as he hoped. Ancelotti initially employed a 4-4-2 formation without utilizing a number 10 role, which led to some discomfort for Zola. Eventually, Zola received an offer from Chelsea, and they parted ways.
Ancelotti’s time at Juventus marked a turning point in his tactical approach. Guided by the presence of Zinedine Zidane, he adopted a 3-4-1-2 formation, positioning Zidane as a number 10. This experience opened his mind to different football philosophies.
Moving on to Milan, Ancelotti felt right at home due to his past as a player for the club. Familiar with the team’s structure and many players, he formed a strong bond with the club and its supporters. The triumph against Juventus in the 2002/03 Champions League final was a special moment for him, not out of vengeance, but as his first major trophy. Leaving Milan for Chelsea was a mutual decision for both Ancelotti and the club, as he believed it was time for a change after eight years.
At Chelsea, Ancelotti experienced a fantastic first year, achieving success beyond expectations by winning the Premier League and FA Cup. However, the following season presented challenges, with Didier Drogba falling ill with malaria. Despite that, Ancelotti praised the incredible talents of the Chelsea squad, which included players like Drogba, Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, and others.
After successful stints at various clubs, Ancelotti admitted that coaching in the Premier League provided a more exciting and less pressure-filled experience compared to Italian football, which still grapples with issues of violence and fan behavior.
Managing Real Madrid was a dream come true for Ancelotti. He recognized the club’s esteemed image and enjoyed working with star players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos. His tactical approach aimed to optimize Ronaldo’s attacking abilities and not burden him with defensive tasks.
Throughout his illustrious career, Ancelotti’s coaching journey has been shaped by various experiences, from tactical transformations to managing some of the world’s finest football talents.