Carlo Ancelotti – Real Madrid’s Wizard
Carlo Ancelotti came to bring the ultimate success after Jose Mourinho’s reign: to complete La Decima in Champions League. The experienced Italian boss had to work with a locker room that was split by the differences between the Portuguese group (Pepe and Fabio Coentro were Mourinho’s favorites) and the Spanish group (well know disputes with Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas). Don Carlo managed to reunite the group, bring back the good atmosphere and surprise everyone with his unexpected tactical approach (reinventing players like Di Maria, Modric or Kroos).
Many experts believed that Carlo Ancelotti will not be able to succeed in the Galaxy. Jose Mourinho left a tensioned locker room, a legendary goalkeeper that was not longer appearing in the first 11, had to sell the one the best players (Mesut Ozil) in order to create space for Gareth Bale. Carlo Ancelotti did not succeed in La Liga, finishing third behind Atletico and the eternal rivals – Barcelona and his chair was starting to shake. The Italian manager saved his position with a win in the UEFA Champions League (he was very lucky to have Sergio Ramos, who brought Real Madrid back in the match in the last minutes of the regular time).
Why do I call Carlo Ancelotti – Real Madrid’s Wizard? Taking La Decima as a foundation, the 55 years old Italian built an incredible team, with a real goal appetite. Ancelotti did not follow the example of his mentor, Arrigo Sacchi, but always found a tactic that suited the squad, creating a super offensive team (for instance the line-up in El Clasico with Isco, Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez as attacking midfielders). Don Carlo is renowned for creating tactics depending on the players that he has and not sticking to one successful tactic for ever. The wizard that is now Real Madrid’s boss managed to reinvent some players (turning Andreea Pirlo into one the best deep-lying playmakers in the world, Angel Di Maria into a box to box midfielder, Toni Kross and Luka Modric into complete midfielders like Xabi Alonso). Carlo Ancelotti had an incredible inspiration to transform Di Maria into a box to box midfielder, a player that was by far the man of the match in the Champions League Final. In Bale’s absence, Isco played a splendid football, showing that it’s hard to choose between the Spaniard, Bale and James Rodriguez. Furthermore, Ancelotti turned Benzema into a complete striker, a player that after 6 years starts to justify his transfer fee. With some modest 4 seasons, Karim Benzema rediscovered his Olympique Lyon form under Don Carlo and started not only to become a clinical finisher, but also a very good assistant for Ronaldo. Experts said that Xabi Alonso’s sale was a mistake, but Ancelotti proved the contrary. He transformed both Kroos and Modric into 2 veritable defensive midfielders. Those two players form a complete partnership, that ensures stability in the back and creativity in the attack. What is more surprising is this development of Luka Modric under Ancelotti because the Croat was rarely playing more than 70 minutes during Mourinho’s reign. Ancelotti did with Modric what he had done with Pirlo at AC Millan and with Verratti at PSG, turning the Croat into an efficient and intelligent regista. The 55 years old Carlo Ancelotti introduced in the team Jesé, who was decisive while Gareth Bale was injured in early 2014. Unfortunately, the young Spaniard suffered a cruciate ligament rupture that has ruled him out since March 2014.
Carlo Ancelotti was not only a wizard when we are talking about tactics, but he was also also very inspired when he sold players. Football analysts questioned his decision to sell Higuain instead of Benzema, but proved that the French can develop a lot and turn into a complete striker. The Italian was forced to choose between Ozil and Di Maria, and he made a wise decision by selling Ozil and keeping for one more season the tireless Argentinian player. Ancelotti had to sell Di Maria and Alonso this summer in order to make room for the new faces (James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos). After this two sales, the Italian found a way to build a much stronger team, more offensive and more complete squad (scored 42 goals in only 11 La Liga matches).
The Italian manager is a real wizard for Real Madrid, reuniting a team of stars, bringing back the offensive and spectacular football. Carlo Ancelotti‘s main strength as a manager is the ability to create successful team cohesion while giving stars the ability to shine. Ancelotti is an intelligent tactician and quiet achiever, whom all the players have huge respect and admiration for. Because of this respect and admiration, Real Madrid is performing so well, because there are no hard feelings and grudges between the players.