Carlo Ancelotti. EFE
The greatest football coach of all time
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The greatest football coach of all time

Ancelotti had the choice of sloping off to Brazil or staying with Real Madrid. He made the right decision to stick rather than twist

Friday, 10 May 2024, 17:26


Hail Carlo! The Real Madrid manager truly has written himself into the history books as the greatest football coach of all time.

In a single week, he's wrapped up his second Spanish title with four games to go and managed a club to his sixth Champions League final. It's all done with calmness and he makes it look so easy.

It certainly hasn't been easy or conventional. He's done it without Karim Benzema who was replaced by Joselu, a journeyman striker who'd failed to do it on many cold Tuesday nights in Stoke but give him a warm Wednesday at the Bernabéu and he's a superstar. He's done it without Thibaut Courtois, one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and his two first-choice defenders. Despite the absence of David Alaba and Éder Militão, Real Madrid have conceded 11 goals fewer than any other Liga side.

He's pointed Vinícius Júnior in the right direction despite an array of head-turning distractions. Now. the Brazilian is touted as the world's best player.

The way that Jude Bellingham has been managed should never be underestimated. Many coaches would still be trying to work out how best to utilise a talented 20-year-old adapting to a foreign land and the demands of playing for the biggest club in the world. Ancelotti invented a position to best utilise his talents which has taken him to the top of the scoring charts.

Ancelotti never gets flustered and oozes dignity. Compare him to his main rivals this season: at FC Barcelona, Xavi resigned and then changed his mind; It's a mind that has been mushed at times which has resulted in three red cards. What did Kipling write? "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs...."

In the Champions League semi-final, Ancelotti made a snap decision to send on the veteran Luka Modrić when Bayern took the lead. He utilised all five substitutes - with one of them, Joselu, scoring the two dramatic goals. In the other corner, Thomas Tuchel took off Harry Kane and Jamal Musiala for the final five minutes. In those five minutes, Real scored the two vital goals. Tuchel tried to deflect his failings by blaming the officials for Bayern's exit; an assistant referee may have made an error, but the in-game management was a bigger factor.

Now Tuchel's fate is uncertain whilst Ancelotti had the choice to make between the two best jobs in football. Should he slope off to manage Brazil or stick with Real Madrid?

He made the right decision to stick rather than twist. He claimed this is the best squad he's ever managed after the Bayern game. What's scary is the fact that it will be improved by Kylian Mbappé and the exciting Brazilian teenager Endrick next season with the possibility of Alphonso Davies joining from Bayern. He'll also have Courtois, Alaba and Militão fully fit.

The greatest manager with his greatest-ever team - it's a frightening prospect!

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