Inbound FC Bayern München coach Carlo Ancelotti knows a thing or two about winning titles, and he has delivered his blueprint for UEFA EURO 2016 success...
Fast forwards in demand
Ancelotti will succeed Pep Guardiola as head coach of FC Bayern in the coming weeks, but before he gets his feet under his desk at the Allianz Arena, the Italian has turned his attentions to UEFA EURO 2016. Speaking to British newspaper 'The Daily Telegraph', the Italian gave his opinion on what is required to win a tournament such as the one in France this summer. With 15 major titles to his name already, he is a man who knows what he is talking about.
Ancelotti's opinion is clear: the team that wins the tournament is likely to be the one that does the best job of turning defence into attack, fast. The Italian has some concerns in this department, however, saying: "If you want your team to build the game quietly from the back, then it takes many hours on the training ground to develop these tactics and refine them." This is time a national team coach simply does not have between the end of the domestic season and the beginning of an international tournament, unlike when Ancelotti gets his hands on Bayern's reins this summer.
Ancelotti, therefore proposes a different approach. His plan: to organize the defence well to withstand the opponents' pressure, so that they can then win the ball back and switch to attacking with the help of fleet-footed forwards "who are ready to run." Such tactics certainly served Leicester City FC and Club Atletico de Madrid well this season, with the former winning the English Premier League against the odds and the latter only losing the UEFA Champions League final on penalties.
As well as tactical discipline, psychological strength plays a key role for Ancelotti. A team needs a "positive attitude" and to "trust their own qualities." In order to win a title, "the key is to believe that it is possible."
Ancelotti is qualified to comment, with an embarrassment of riches on his footballing CV both as a player and coach. The 56-year-old has won the Champions League three times - in 2003 and 2007 as coach of AC Milan, and in 2014 with Real Madrid CF. Bayern are hoping Ancelotti - who has a contract in Bavaria until 2019 - can add further to his trophy cabinet in the coming years.