In his typically composed manner, Carlo Ancelotti believes winning the Champions League is an "objective" not an "obligation" at Bayern. - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
In his typically composed manner, Carlo Ancelotti believes winning the Champions League is an "objective" not an "obligation" at Bayern. - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Bundesliga

Bayern coach Ancelotti: 'The pyschological side of football is vital'

Carlo Ancelotti took over the reins as FC Bayern München head coach in the summer and has since guided the team to the top of the Bundesliga standings after an unbeaten start to the 2016/17 campaign.

Not only has the 57-year-old won silverware at every major club he has managed, including three UEFA Champions League titles, he is renowned as one of the most amicable figures in the game.

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In this exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, the Italian discusses handling world-famous stars, coping with pressure, and his famously expressive eyebrow...

bundesliga.com: Mr Ancelotti, let's start with one of the biggest secrets in football...

Carlo Ancelotti: [Laughs] Now I'm intrigued. There are quite a few secrets…

bundesliga.com: You may be surprised to hear that it's about your eyebrow. It has been said that when you raise it, which you often do, it's an alarm signal. It has also been said that your agile brow is the result of a moped accident in your youth. What is the truth?

Ancelotti: [Laughs] Oh dear, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. There is no secret and none of those things are true. My eyebrow is just a normal eyebrow.

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bundesliga.com: So what explanation do you have?

Ancelotti: [Laughs] Unfortunately I don't have one at all. Sometimes I surprise myself. When I see an interview I gave on television I think 'that eyebrow is raised a long way', and then I realise that it's mine! It's also a mystery to me why it moves like that.

bundesliga.com: Despite that disappointment, let's try the next secret…

Ancelotti: [Laughs]

bundesliga.com: We bet you would have been an actor if you had not become a football coach...

Ancelotti: You're not having much luck with your secrets. You're wide of the mark again. That one's not true either. I like films and they're certainly a hobby of mine, as is cooking. But acting? You need talent for that, and my talents lie elsewhere.

- © gettyimages / Adam Pretty

"Motivation is a huge factor in football. You have to speak to the players and give them clear instructions."

- © gettyimages / Denis Doyle

"Here in Munich, winning the Champions League is an objective, not an obligation."

- © imago / ActionPictures

bundesliga.com: You come across as an extraordinarily calm person, despite the huge pressure that exists at a lot of big clubs. Where does your calmness come from?

Ancelotti: Maybe it's part of my character. I've never had very impulsive people around me. My father was very calm, as were my teachers and my coaches when I was a player myself. When you love something, you don't feel any pressure. I think a lot before games and get disappointed when things don't go as I'd hoped, but I don't view it as a catastrophe. Here in Munich, winning the Champions League is an objective, not an obligation.

bundesliga.com: Even at home do you never fly off the handle and kick the sofa?

Ancelotti: [Laughs] I do that sometimes, but only when I'm alone. Obviously you have to express your feelings, it's important to do that, but when you're dealing with football and a team it's better to sleep on it for a night. With over 1000 games under my belt, that works pretty well for me.