Over the past three decades, Carlo Ancelotti has slowly but surely established himself as one of the greats of the sport. Despite being among the most decorated tacticians in history, the Italian was still looking for a performance that would truly set him apart from the rest of the pool and cement his place in the GOAT debate, and he eventually earned it by beating Real Madrid led to the club 35th LaLiga titleand went on to become the first manager to win all five major domestic leagues in European football.
The former midfielder began his coaching career as an assistant to Arrigo Sacchi, who was in charge of the Italy national team at the time, before enjoying a thriving spell at Serie B side Reggiana. Ancelotti then got his first big gig in Parma and the rest, as they say, is history.
So let’s rank the 62-year-old’s key coaching activities based on each club’s accomplishments.
During the reign of Maurizio Sarri, Napoli became the ultimate leader of the anti-Juventus coalition and was on the verge of its end bianconeris Reign of terror over Italian football.
When Ancelotti signed for the Southerners, many felt his wisdom and experience would prove to be partenopeis missing piece of the puzzle by Aurelio De Laurentiis.
On the contrary, the team developed under the leadership of the experienced coach. Despite finishing second in his debut season, the Campanians never posed any real threat to Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates.
Things only turned sour in the second season when poor results sparked major friction between the president and the players, culminating in a mutiny led by Lorenzo Insgine.
Ancelotti paid the price for the whole debacle when he received his marching orders mid-campaign.
This was doomed to fail from the start.
After he ended his playing career as a Milan legend, Juventus fans didn’t particularly like the young tactician who replaced Marcello Lippi mid-season.
During his two full seasons in Turin, Ancelotti almost claimed victory scudetto Title only to finish second with Lazio 2000 and Roma 2001.
The news of the manager’s sacking was announced at half-time on the final day of the 2000/2001 season, at a time when the Bianconeri were technically still in the middle scudetto Battle.
A fitting end to a difficult stint.
In his first season at Bayern Munich, the Italian won the Bundesliga title. However, that counts for little in a league completely dominated by a superpower. After all, Bayern signed him mainly because they felt he was the right profile to bring European glory.
As the second season began with a humiliating Champions League loss to PSG, Ancelotti was therefore sent home in September 2017. For the first time in his career, the respected tactician had apparently lost the bad attire and was sacked mid-season.
Carlo Ancelotti’s early coaching days at Reggiana
The manager’s time at Ennio Tardini was arguably a mixed bag, but it was a great learning experience for a young man still taking his first steps in the tricky world of coaching.
Ancelotti led Parma to a second place finish in his first campaign, but the Crusaders lost momentum in the following campaign as they crossed the finish line in 6th place.
Like a Hollywood actor who decides to take a minor role behind a major blockbuster, Ancelotti chose to challenge himself in mid-table at Everton in the Premier League.
Rather than regret his luck at how his disastrous rule at Napoli had unfolded, the veteran tactician jumped overboard when the opportunity presented itself on Merseyside.
His second spell in England allowed him to re-sharpen his tools in a less fraught environment while still producing decent results.
Last season he led the Toffees to 10th place which can be considered a satisfying performance compared to the club’s current struggles.
Ancelotti landed in the French capital midway through the 2011/12 season but didn’t have enough time to salvage the club’s campaign as Montpellier shocked the country by running away with the title.
However, he made up for it by lifting the Ligue 1 Cup at the end of his second season before leaving the joyful Parisians in favor of Real Madrid.
This remains arguably one of the coaches’ most underrated stops. Winning the league title at PSG certainly sounds like a foregone conclusion these days, but back then the club went through major changes as new stars arrived and some of them struggled to adapt.
As such, the Italian deserves some credit for his ability to forge a cohesive squad and avoid a dramatic fallout in a dressing room full of untamed egos and lay the first brick that launched a winning dynasty.
Stamford Bridge has always been a warm home for Italian managers, but it was Ancelotti who oversaw arguably Chelsea’s most successful domestic season.
In 2010/2011 he led the Blues to a domestic double by winning the Premier League and FA Cup for the first time in club history.
But as was often the case during Roman Abramovich’s time, the Russian was always happy to swing the ax on the back of a trophy-less campaign, which was the case for Carlo after his second appearance in west London.
Although he has managed a host of top clubs across Europe since leaving San Siro Stadium, Ancelotti’s name will forever be linked to Milan’s.
During his illustrious reign at his beloved club, he famously led the Rossoneri to three Champions League finals and won the cup twice.
However, his stay in Milan was marred by two negative points: his lack of national success (A lone scudetto title and not a single Coppa Italia cup in eight seasons) and that surreal collapse Istanbul.
During his first stint in Madrid, Ancelotti sealed Los Blancos long-awaited 10th Champions League trophy from his first attempt. But after a less than successful second season, the two parties decided to part ways in 2015.
However, Ancelotti must have left the Spanish capital with great regret. Now he had certainly cemented his legendary status on the European scene with a third CL trophy and winning the Copa Del Rey was an added bonus, but missing out on the La Liga title was definitely hard for the trophy hunter to swallow.
So that explains why the Italian immediately answered the call when Real Madrid knocked on his door for the second time. The decorated manager returned to make up his deficit and lift the trophy that saw him in the game during his original tenure in Spain.
Los Merengues found minimal resistance on the home front under the guidance of the returning boss as they clinched the La Liga title with three rounds to go.
For Ancelotti, he has more success to consolidate his Spanish stint and has already managed to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League in his third season with Real Madrid.
It remains to be seen if he can reach his fifth final in Europe’s elite club competition when his side meet Manchester City in the second leg on Wednesday.
But win or lose, the Italian has already carved his name in gold letters at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.