Guardiola’s supporters must acknowledge Ancelotti’s genius

Carlo Ancelotti is preparing to write a new history if he wins the Champions League title this evening, Saturday, June 1, 2024, with his club. real madrid The Spaniard, at the expense of German club Borussia Dortmund, at Wembley Stadium, where he will strengthen his position as the most successful player ever in this tournament.

Ancelotti, the only coach in history to have won all five major European leagues (Italian League, English Premier League, French League, German League and Spanish League), will reach number 5 in the most glorious European competitions as a coach, to be the master of the major leagues and the major continental championship itself.

In a world that has become complicated with tactical details and football philosophers, Carlo Ancelotti – despite his history and successes – does not enjoy the appreciation that some of his peers receive from some coaches, led by Pep Guardiola, for example.

Some – Guardiola’s supporters – describe Ancelotti as a “lucky chaotic” coach, who does not have the tactical acumen, style, or even philosophy and identity, like the Manchester City coach.

Guardiola’s value, tactical prowess and influence cannot be doubted, as his disciples are now everywhere. Arsenal felt that the only way to compete with him was to sign one of his followers, Mikel Arteta. Liverpool, after Jurgen Klopp’s departure, signed one of the coaches who admire Guardiola’s philosophy, Arne Sloat.

This week Bayern Munich gave the manager’s job to Vincent Kompany, the recently relegated Burnley coach who appears to have only one qualification: having played under Pep Guardiola. Meanwhile, Chelsea are set to sign Guardiola’s protégé and former assistant, Enzo Maresca.

This made some believe that Guardiola was a ‘school’, and some even went on to belittle Ancelotti as a ‘just lucky’ coach. But Ancelotti himself has a clear superiority over Guardiola in the history of confrontations in the Champions League, even though Guardiola’s formations are usually stronger.

Ancelotti’s tactical genius

Talking about Ancelotti lacking tactical genius is nonsense and a detraction from the history of a coach who saw something of Kaká in Jude Bellingham, and employed him in the same way he employed the former Brazilian star. The English player himself stressed that the reason for his brilliance was due to “the freedom that his coach granted him.”

Ancelotti also created a version of the ‘elegant regista’ in Andrea Pirlo, with his profound role as playmaker, which Pirlo described as having absolutely changed his career for the better, in a 4-4-2 diamond in Milan’s historic side.

Ancelotti was the first to effectively transform Ronaldo into a center forward in his playing methods with Real Madrid, by modifying his formation, and freeing him from any defensive duties. In Parma, he rejected the opportunity to sign Roberto Baggio because he believed that he did not suit his style of play and tactical style.

Ancelotti is a coach who knows how to manage his team, how to restrain the opponent, how to play to his strengths, how to throw him cards and win them. Kroos said about his tactics: “He has a tactical plan to deal better with each opponent, and this is the side of the coin that often goes unnoticed.”

Italian Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid coach, accompanied by German Toni Kroos (Getty) One Win Winwin

In this sense, Ancelotti is a special case in the age of footballing philosophers and tacticians, he has never developed an ideology, like Guardilismo or Sarismo.

Ancelotti says about his style: “Football is my passion, but I try to manage things in the simplest way possible. Football for me is not complicated, it is simple, even in strategy. Tactics are required, but there is room for freedom and creativity.”

Therefore, if Guardiola is a “school,” then Ancelotti is a “university” for coaches, and an example of the concept of “technical director,” then management is the value that maximizes Ancelotti’s value, and technical management differs from the idea of ​​just a brilliant “tactical” coach.

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