Opinion

Take a bow, Carlo

B. Baskar | Updated on: May 30, 2022
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti celebrates after winning the Champions League on Saturday

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti celebrates after winning the Champions League on Saturday | Photo Credit: KAI PFAFFENBACH

Real Madrid’s incredible 14th European title win had Carlo Ancelotti’s imprimatur

Of all the 14 European titles that Real Madrid has won now, Saturday’s must have been the hardest. Paris St Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City had to be slayed on the way to the finals against Liverpool. The finals itself was not a night of pulsating, box-to-box action with loads of goals, marked as it was by a low level intensity, decided by a solitary goal that came in the second half. Perhaps that’s how the way it should be as the match in many ways epitomised Real Madrid’s season – both at the La Liga and the Champion’s League. For Real Madrid this season it was all about tenacity, grit, character, resilience and belief. And the one player who exemplified these attributes was Karim Benzema. But others such as Vinicius Jr., Casemiro, Luka Modric and Thibaut Courtois should be lauded, too; Courtois, especially, was immense in the finals.

But the one man who deserves most credit for Real Madrid’s success this season is their coach Carlo Ancelotti. Of late there has been huge media attention on the tactical nous and coaching genius of Pep Guardiola (of Manchester City) and Jurgen Klopp (of Liverpool). But curiously Ancelotti never seems to figure in these conversations. He has now won a record four Champion’s League titles with different clubs (twice with AC Milan and twice with Real Madrid).

There is something disarmingly old-school about Ancelotti’s coaching methods – that he still wears a suit on the touchline and occasionally chomps on a cigar is perhaps testimony to that. For Liverpool the quadruple was a bridge too far. Losing the EPL title to Manchester City by a single point took an emotional toll on the players. Though Liverpool did put up a fight they looked worn out. Their players despite their incredible feats all season are humans at the end of the day. For now Real Madrid can bask in its glory – so take a bow Carlo.

Published on May 29, 2022
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