April 30, Real Madrid beat Espanyol 4-0 at home. Following that victory, Carlo Ancelotti became the first manager ever to win the league title in all of Europe’s top five leagues. He won Serie A with AC Milan in 2004 and lifted the Premier League title with Chelsea in 2010. He conquered France winning Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain in 2013. Then he followed it up with a triumph in Bundesliga with Bayern Munich in 2017. Now, he has another feather in his illustrious managerial cap winning La Liga with Real Madrid this season.
Real Madrid’s latest success in LaLiga is the earliest they’ve won the league since 1989. It’s their 35th title in Spain’s top division football. Only Juventus cap Madrid for the most domestic titles in the top 5 leagues in Europe with 36 Scudetto. With that win, Ancelotti is now the oldest manager to win the La Liga at 62 years and 325 days.
Speaking of unprecedented, Carlo Ancelotti also became the first manager ever to reach the Champions League semi-finals in FOUR different decades. He started his managerial career in 1998/99 and is going strong as ever 24 years later. He is on the cusp of something special with Real Madrid having already secured the domestic title. They are currently the second favorite against Man City in the Champions League semifinals. However, with regards to their history, players, and the man in charge, Real Madrid can’t be underestimated.
As a manager, Ancelotti has achieved almost every possible accolade at the top level. Yet Ancelotti often goes unnoticed and under the radar. He somehow misses out on the front row/page when people and pundits discuss the top managers – past and present. His laid-back and low-key nature – especially on the sidelines – may have played a part. He has 22 trophies against his name in his managerial career already. He won’t mind going quietly about his business and letting his team and his resume do the talking.
Quite the Leader
Carlo Ancelotti released his book Quiet Leadership: Winning Hearts, Minds and Matches in 2016. It perfectly encapsulates the man and the manager he is. He goes quiet about his business, sometimes too quiet for the liking of both his fans and even the opposition. Some of his fans want him to be more expressive and aggressive with his body language like other managers. On the other hand, his calm and composed aura of Ancelotti annoys the opposition fans. He looks so much in control even when it feels like his team isn’t. It’s like a calm before the storm, the calm being him and the havoc his team can wreak like a storm.
He has seen almost everything one has to see as a player and a manager. He was never an edgy character. With a plethora of experience, nothing seems to fluster him. Some would say that his calming presence and influence is his greatest strength as a manager. It seems to rub off on his players and they have pulled off rescue acts many a time. His team has won hearts, minds, matches, and tournaments even when their backs were against the wall under his leadership. They have already done that on numerous occasions this season. Will that be the case against Man City in Santiago Bernabeu come the 4th of May? They may, they may not, but count Ancelotti and his men out at your own peril.