Carlo Ancelotti is enjoying a renaissance.
The Italian coach thought his days amongst the elite of the elite were over. His two most recent jobs before he returned to the Santiago Bernabeu last summer were with Napoli and Everton.
Both are historic football clubs but neither compete at the sharp end of the European game. Many viewed his appointment by Real Madrid this past close-season to be a place-holder, a safe hand designed to usher Los Blancos into a new era.
But he’s been a whole lot more than that.
Ancelotti has built a team that plays a simple, uncomplicated system with devastating skill. He’s fostered an atmosphere that’s gotten the best out of a talented group and enjoyed success both at home and in Europe.
By winning La Liga, Ancelotti became the first man to win all five of Europe’s major leagues – Italy, England, France, Germany and Spain. It’s a remarkable thing to add to you CV.
“It’s a great achievement,” Ancelotti told SiriusXM FC’s The Football Show. “I’m really happy because to have achieved this means that I’ve had a long career. But I still have a lot of passion for this sport and I’d like to continue for a long time.
“I didn’t have a lot of doubts [about Madrid’s chances this season]. Most of the players were with me the first time I was here and there were new youngsters who were really talented.
“But I did have some doubt in the Champions League.
“Competing with the English teams and the most important teams in Europe, I didn’t know how that would be. But in the end I was sure that we’d be competitive in all competitions.”