Carlo Ancelotti smokes a cigar after Real Madrid were crowned champions, again, of the Champions League. Photo: Instagram
Not from now on, Carlo Ancelotti has dreamed of Liverpool for years. And sometimes that dream becomes a flashback nightmare for the Italian this Saturday could be the first manager to win four Champions Leagues.
In 2007 he said Carletto: “All year I watched Liverpool’s results. I wanted them to win so we could meet in the final. My head was on Milan, but my heart was on Liverpool.”
The compelling desire to turn sweet revenge into a nightmare has been going on for two years: on May 25, 2005, in charge of Milan, Ancelotti suffered the worst defeat of his career. Nothing less than the Champions League final.
it is called “The Miracle of Istanbul”On the winning side, of course. To the losers the adjectives are not all benevolent.
Carlo Ancelotti was still long at the awards ceremony after the final lost his hands in Istanbul. Photo: AFP
Milan won 3-0 with two goals from Hernán Crespo and everything seems to be fixed. But with six minutes left in the history of the competition, Englishman Steven Gerrard (aged 54), Czech Vladimir Smicer (56) and Spanish Xabi Alonso (60) hit violent punches on the table to be 3- 3 in a memorable final.
The penalties gave him last slap to Ancelotti and his people. Among those who made mistakes was the Italian Andrea Pirlo and the ukrainian Andriy Shevchenkotwo specialists.
How can it be forgotten? How to exorcise it?
What could be better than reuniting in a new final. This is what Carlo Ancelotti dreamed of. But you have to wait and you have to come.
And Milan arrived, two years later. Athens gave the epic scenery of this film’s script and Ancelotti gave it one of the qualities not learned in any university. Intuition. Smell, you can tell too. Wisdom.
Bill Adrian Galliani (Ancelotti’s boss for eight years from his position as CEO of Milan) who was in training before the final and who, faced with repeated inaccuracies by Filippo Inzaghi, told the coach, his friend: “Why don’t we let Gilardino play? He looks better.”.
Then Carletto, the silent leader, replied: “Inzaghi is a strange animal, tomorrow may be his night”.
You thought: it was his night. Inzaghi converted the same goal for the 2-1 win.
This is one of the many anecdotes Ancelotti can tell about his brilliant career, which includes his achievements as the only manager to have won five major leagues in Europe: Italy with Milan, England with Chelsea, Spain with Real Madrid, Germany with Bayern. Munich and France including Paris Saint-Germain.
But more: Ancelotti appears on the podium on any list of Champions League winning coaches.
Let’s review. Only three coaches have won it three times: Bob Paisley with Liverpool (1977,78 and 81), Zinedine Zidane with Real Madrid (2016,17 and 18) and Ancelotti, with Milan (2003 and 2007) and with Real Madrid (2014).
It has been said: Carletto could be first with four dried apricots in your showcase.
Only seven won as a player and as a coach: Miguel Muñoz (Real Madrid), Giovanni Trapattoni (Milan at Juventus), Johan Cruyff (Ajax at Barcelona), Frank Rijkaard (Ajax at Barcelona), Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid), Pep Guardiola (Barcelona) and Ancelotti (Milan at Real Madrid ).
Only five managers won it at two different clubs: Ernst Happel (Feyenoord and Hamburg), Ottmar Hitzfeld (Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich), José Mourinho (Porto and Inter), Jupp Heynckes (Real Madrid and Bayern Munich) and Ancelotti (Milan and Real Madrid).
There are only two people who, adding their Champions League titles as a player and as a coach, have reached five: Miguel Muñoz (3 and 2) and Carlo Ancelotti (2 and 3). Carletto You can also continue to lead in this area.
Miguel Muñóz, the only one who can repeat as a Champions League winner as a player and coach.
Carletto and the Orejona.
The history of Ancelotti and the Champions League started early and with shorts. Carlo is 24 years old and has been a key figure in a Roma team that won the Calcio title after four decades. Brazilians Falcao and Toninho Cerezo and Italian Bruno Conti also shone on the team. The whole capital promoted the party, they had the Champions League finals at home.
On May 30, 1984, the Olympic stadium wore all its brilliance. One detail will preclude. Liverpool. It was a 1-1 and 4-2 English victory in the penalty shootout.
But Ancelotti is not on the pitch, even in the stadium. She followed him from the hospital, because the next day they would be operated on for a new knee injury.
The Champions League will give him revenge as a footballer, aboard the great Milan of Arrigo Sacchi wherein Carletto (leader, smart midfielder, field coach) won the 1989 edition at the Camp Nou in Barcelona (4-0 against Steaua from Romania) and 1990 in Vienna (1-0 against Benfica from Portugal). All flashes were taken by Gullit, Van Basten or Baresi, but Ancelotti was an important piece in the Dutch-Italian machinery..
As a coach he kissed the Big ears on May 28, 2003, at least at the legendary Old Trafford in Manchester. Now outside the lime line, always with Milan, he has left Juventus ’Mauro Camoranesi and David Trezeguet empty -handed. It was 0-0 and 3-2 on penalties, a kind of meaning that would be repeated in the romance (like all romance, not everyone is perfect) between Ancelotti and the Champions League.
Then, respectively, will come an important date, unforgettable, which is said to be: the B part of the epics raised by Real Madrid in 2022. Istanbul, May 25, 2005.
And Liverpool as the executioner.
Two years later, Milan met sweet revenge in Athens. We have seen it all.
Using this time machine called Champions, let’s travel to May 24, 2014. Estadio da Luz in Lisbon. Real Madrid classic in the great European final. Ancelotti against Diego Simeone.
Real Madrid is chasing la Décima, an obsession of its fans and its president Florentino Pérez. He accepted José Mourinho as a guarantee of victory, but the Portuguese did not get it. Florentino sought out Ancelotti, a peacemaker, to put out the fire Mourinho had lit in the locker room and turn it into a winning wind. Almost a biblical mission.
Uruguayan Diego Godín has placed Aleti and the time of regulation is near. El Cholo shouts to one side; Ancelotti, calm, waited for the miracle. He arrived with first and last name: Sergio Ramos, in the third minute of the discount.
In extension everything is white. Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo added their signatures to end the magnified 4-1.
Any resemblance to Real Madrid’s recent relentless heroism against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea or Manchester City is no accident.
Common points? Karim Benzema, Luka Modric … and one in particular Carlo Ancelotti.