On the 21st March, it looked highly unlikely that Real Madrid would be attending the Champions League final, let alone winning it. The previous night, Los Blancos had been battered 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu by bitter rivals Barcelona. Some were asking for Carlo Ancelotti to be sacked at the end of the season.
According to Marca, after that match, Ancelotti had the perfect words to soften his President, Florentino Perez.
“Relax President, we’re going to win La Liga and the Champions League,” he told him at the training ground that week.
Whether either believed it, the Italian manager made good on his word in spectacular fashion. Still with a trio of intimidating Premier League teams to go through in Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, Real Madrid sealed their 14th European Cup in Hollywood style. He also made a second similar premonition to Thibaut Courtois.
If anything, Ancelotti’s season at Real Madrid has served to remind fans of the fine margins in football. Few thought that Los Blancos could compete with the best in Europe this season, but once again they proved that if you can control those margins, you can reach the peak of the game.