Real Madrid will take on Valencia in the Spanish Supercup on Wednesday night at 20:00 CEST, as they seek to make the final on Sunday. After both suffered defeats to the Yellow Submarine, Villarreal and Cadiz, it’s a match that has taken on more importance.
It also sees two Italian managers going head-to-head, two characters that know each other well. Gennaro Gattuso enjoyed an enormously successful Milan career under Carlo Ancelotti, before he moved into management.
Ancelotti surprised many by admitting they had not always been on the best terms in his pre-match press conference.
“We have had beautiful moments because we have won the Champions League. The relationship has not always been good and we have had personal problems, but I don’t want to talk about personal relationships.”
Those issues stem not from Gattuso’s time under his management, but in fact during his time as a manager. While Ancelotti was at Napoli, President Aurelio de Laurentiis, frustrated with results, forced Ancelotti and his players into a team camp, against Ancelotti’s orders.
Seemingly he threatened Ancelotti with the sack, claiming that he already had an 18-month deal Gattuso. Sure enough, after Ancelotti was sacked, he was even more dismayed to see Gattuso take his place.
“I wanted to call Ancelotti, I did it this morning. They weren’t easy days. I had to clarify things with Carlo”, Gattuso said in his presentation, as per Marca.
“He has always been polite and kind, today I had the reconfirmation of the Ancelotti man. Once again he has shown to be a great man. I hope to have the 10% of his career.”
The pair will go head-to-head for the fourth time as managers, with all three previous meetings occurring while Gattuso was at Milan and Ancelotti at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Those three are split between a win for each and a 0-0 draw.