Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid: Don Carlo's second coming at the Los Blancos!!
On Wednesday night Carlo Ancelotti became the first manager in football to reach his fifth Champions League final in his managerial career and Real Madrid reached their 17th European final.
Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid: Version 2.0
However, how did a team who were trophyless last season win La Liga, Super Cup, and now are in the Champions League final this season?
Zinedine Zidane took control of Real Madrid last season and the Los Blancos had a hard time forming chemistry with each other it was clearly seen how Vinicius and Benzema failed to dovetail with each other in the games.
The midfield trio Casemiro Kroos and Modric did not have replacements as they were exhausted and the defense was ravaged by injuries.
Nonetheless, Madrid were able to reach the Champions League semifinal and finished second in La Liga.
Before the season would start Zidane announced he will step down as Madrid’s manager. The situation was inexplicable in Madrid and the club was in plight, President Perez was in dilemma as to whom to give the throne in management, who knows inside out of the club.
Only one name came to Perez’s mind, Don Carlo. President speculated Carlo Ancelotti who is a pragmatist and can restore the faith and make players believe in themselves which he eventually did.
Vinicius Junior who had a rough time fitting in Madrid’s system is now flourishing under Ancelotti and is the most indispensable part of the squad alongside Benzema.
Carlo Ancelotti examined the flaws at Real Madrid and helped players find their character back, he worked on their quality where they will proliferate. He built trust between them which was a key part of why Real Madrid have excelled in every competition this season.
And now fast forward to the current scenario, the Spanish giants are Champions of Spain, Super cup and are now in final of Champions League. And before reaching the final chapter of the European competiiton they defeated the three highest orders of the teams, PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Carlo Ancelotti: First spell at Real Madrid
In 2013 Real Madrid were in search of a manager who could steer them to Champions League glory as they last tasted the European success in 2002, and despite their domestic dominance the Los Blancos were seeking to end their Champions League drought and Jose Mourinho decided he will leave Real Madrid once the season concludes.
Real Madrid were in a dilemma and monitored many top-class managers but failed to find who would suit Los Blancos' hierarchy, Ancelotti was a free man during the time but his managerial resume convinced Perez to hand him the job and Carlo Ancelotti presided over as new manager of Real Madrid on 25 June 2013.
Carlo Ancelotti assumes his control and had a massive task on his plate as the Champions League was a priority for Real Madrid. He began his first game as head coach with a win by implementing his favored 4-3-3 lineup.
Madrid were lackluster in La Liga but they capitalized on the Copa del Rey defeating Barcelona 2-1.
Carlo Ancelotti fulfilled his trust by guiding Real Madrid to Champions League final after 12 years.
The 13-times European Champions secured the 'La Decima' in a 4-1 rout to city rivals Atletico Madrid and the Italian manager became the second manager after Liverpool's Bob Paisley to claim the trophy thrice in his career.
They subsequently won the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup but in subsequent years they went without tasting any trophy whilst their rivals Barcelona won the treble.
This prompted president Florentino Pérez to relieve Carlo Ancelotti of his duties at Real Madrid the reason being "At this club the demands are huge and we need a new impulse in order to win trophies and be at our best."
It was just a rare blemish on Ancelotti’s illustrious career.
Carlo Ancelotti Stats at Real Madrid (2013/15 and 2021/-)
How Carlo Ancelotti helped Real Madrid go like clockwork
The Italian manager stuck to a 4-3-3 for larger part of the season where his team finds balance and dominates the match with their chemistry.
Ancelotti largely depended on a mixture of experience and young players. He has Casemiro, Kroos, and Modric in midfield who holds a great experience and Valverde alongside who is pacy and has an excellent work rate.
As Kroos, Modric and Casemiro face two opponents’ in midfield this gives them an advantage to outclass the opposition midfield.
With the numerical advantage, the midfield trio negate the other team’s press and move the ball higher up the pitch without any trouble.
This is when the opponent closes down Casemiro the opponent’s fullback goes high up to press Mendy leaving Vinicius 1v1 with the opposition center back and the Brazilian is skillful and pacy enough to beat the defender when 1v1 making the other center back come out this opens space in the opponent’s area for Benzema who can score goals from Vinicius' cross or pass.
But when his men are out of possession they press high up the pitch, if they fail to regain the possession the team goes back into shape and defends deep with Casemiro sitting between the center-backs and making six men defensive line.
This gives numerical advantage to Madrid with Toni Kroos and Modric stationed outside the box if a counter-attack ensues and Benzema, Vinicius Junior drops deep to carry out the counter-attack.