yesthere can only be one left. That is how the goddess fortune wanted it when drawing the path of this edition of the European Cupthe number 67 since it was born with its first final in the same city where the new European king will be decided on May 28: Paris. Carlo Ancelotti (10-6-1959) and Pep Guardiola (18-1-1971) are two of the coaches with the greatest impact on European football in this century. With their different ways of understanding footballthe two have written unique pages in their sport on a path in which they find common ground.
Both they developed their career in midfield and were part of two legendary teams.
Ancelotti started at Parma, moved to Roma and with Sacchi’s Milan he amazed the world in that midfield formed with the Colombo, Rijkaard, Evani or Donadoni. His was the right hand with which he opened Madrid’s black night at the San Siro on April 19, 1989, that of 5-0.
Guardiola is a pure product of the Barcelona youth academy and was the axis of rotation of the Dream Team, the piece from which Cruyff developed his idea. Those who worked with them as players soon understood that the future of both was on the bench.
Champions as players…
They both know what it is to be champions of Europe short dresses. Ancelotti won the trophy What rossonero in 1989 and 1990the last cycle of two titles in a row before the three chained by Zidane’s Real Madrid. Later, knee injuries took over Reggiolo’s versatile midfielder.
Guardiola is part of the team that ended the curse of Barcelona in the European Cup, that of the victory in 1992 at Wembley against Sampdoria with Koeman’s goal. He was able to win another two years later, but his Barcelona was crushed in Athens (4-0) by a Milan that he lives his second season without Ancelotti and already with Capello on the bench.
… And as coaches
And they also know what to do to win her over in a suit. Ancelotti, who has just become the first coach to win all five major leaguesnow aspires to be the only one with four Champions and leave Zidane and Bob Paisley behind.
The Real Madrid coach won the Champions League twice as coach of Milan (2003 and 2007) and another with the whites in 2014. In addition, the one from 2005, the one that Liverpool raised in Istanbul after going into the break losing 3-0, escaped him in an incredible way.
Guardiola’s challenge is to give Manchester City the first Champions League and register his name among the coaches with three trophies. His were those of Barcelona in 2009 and 2011. Last season I lost the Porto final against Chelsea.
The link of Xabi Alonso
The current coach of Real Sociedad B It was the axis of Ancelotti’s Madrid who ended a 12-year drought in the Champions League in 2014, although he missed the final due to suspension. Weeks later he left for Bayern with the concern of knowing what it was like to work with Guardiola.
“I learned a lot from Ancelottihis ability to manage a dressing room, to make decisions…”, explains Xabi de Carletto; “Pep visualized the game before it was played. And he said: ‘this is going to happen’. And this happened. To do this you had to do this and then it happened. He is a genius, a visionary”, thinks of Guardiola.
“Xabi Alonso He was one of the best midfielders I’ve ever had and I knew I was going to be a good coach“, explains Ancelotti from Tolosa; “He is one of the best midfielders I have seen in my life. Understands football, is involved and curious for knowing everything related to the game”, assured Pep de Xabi in Munich.
Rivalry with Klopp
With Villarreal pending one of those feats that surpass the imagination, Klopp’s Liverpool is emerging as one of the protagonists of the Paris final. Ancelotti has faced the German with Real Madrid (when Jrgen directed Borussia Dortmund) and with Npoles and Everton since Klopp’s arrival at Liverpool. In the city of the bay of Mersey they lived one of the great local rivalries of the Premier.
For Guardiola, Klopp was the first big rival when he arrived in Germany. That rivalry only needs one duel to equal Pep’s longest and most intense as coach: his 25 confrontations with Mourinho. After eight in the Bayern-Dortmund era, There are already 16 as coaches of Liverpool and City. The one in Paris will be sumun of their fight. “Klopp is the great rival of my career“says the Manchester City manager.
Ancelotti was only international 26 times and scored a goal. Those few games, because it was a time with much fewer selections than now, they gave him to being in two World Cups (1986 and 1990) and the 1988 Euro. He was third in the second World Cup that was played in his country.
Pep Guardiola, Olympic gold with Spain in Barcelona 92, played 47 games for Spain and scored five goals. He closely watched the access to the semifinals in the 1994 World Cup, the one in the United States, the afternoon of Tassotti’s elbow to Luis Enrique at Foxboro Stadium. He saw it from the Spanish bench; from the Italian he observed what happened a Carlo Ancelotti who attended the World Cup as a member of Arrigo Sacchi’s staff. Italy fell in the Pasadena final to Brazil on penalties.
Songs of sirens of selections
The CBF wants Guardiola to replace Tite when the World Cup in Qatar is over for Brazil. They do not hide it and it is an objective that has been worked on for a long time in Rio de Janeiro. Pep has assured that he is happy at the Etihadbut…
Federcalcio knocked on Ancelotti’s door insistently, especially after staying out of the World Cup in Russia.
It is not the only Federation that has done it, but it is it may be the only one that one day convinces an Ancelotti who not long ago made it clear that his idea does not go that way: “Sometimes I have thought about going to a selection, but I like the day to day. I was able to go to Italy in 2018. Until I change that chip in my head I am not going to go to a national team. I don’t like to work three times a year. If I lose that desire from day to day, I stop”.
Away from the noise generated by the call clash of styles between Guardiola and Simeone, this tie is marked by the fascination they feel for each other. “Guardiola is a genius in many aspectsbecause he’s always trying to do something special on the pitch,” Carletto said before leaving.
Pep’s response was up to that point:Ancelotti has coached some of the best clubs in Europe: Milan, Juventus, Napoli, PSG, Real Madrid… He has been successful in all of them. I took care of myself when I started. I visited him when he was at Milan. He has always been very kind off the field. I admire him a lot“.
Carlo Ancelotti has been league champion in each country through which it has passed: Italy, England, France, Germany and Spain. Guardiola has done the same in the three in which he has trained: Spain, Germany and England. For Carletto there are five league titlesone per country; for pep the accountwaiting for what happens in this Premier, it’s on nine: three per team (Barcelona, Bayern and Manchester City).
in the ChampionsAncelotti has won with two teams (Milan and Real Madrid) and Pep only with Barcelona.
Both of their careers on the bench have been linked to templates brimming with stars. Guardiola’s path began with the best Messi and the maximum expression of Xavi and Iniesta. Then Lewandowski, Müller, Neuer, Agero, De Bruyne…
Ancelotti It started with his runner-up in Parma for a young Buffon, Thuram, Crespo, Sensini, Chiesa, Cannavaro… On his route are Shevchenko, ZidaneDeschamps, Henry, Drogba, Lewandowski, Maldini, Kak, Sergio Ramos, Casillas, Cristiano, Benzema…
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The 10 connections between Ancelotti and Guardiola