- Ancelotti to pick up the baton at Bayern from Guardiola.
- The only coach to win three Champions League titles.
- Bayern CEO Rummenigge: "He's a calm, balanced pro."
He is one of football's most respected ambassadors, speaks four languages and is about to take the reins at record Bundesliga champions FC Bayern München, but you will never hear Carlo Ancelotti blowing his own trumpet.
The cool-headed Italian instead preaches humility, quality and respect: ingredients which have served him undeniably well in a king-sized career spanning 40 years.
'The ideal coach'
It was on the family farm in Reggiolo, Italy, that Ancelotti acquired the core values that have helped him become one of the most successful coaches of the modern era. The milk and dairy products churned out by his father were simple, yet effective. Ancelotti's brand of football is no different.
As a player, he was the unassuming heartbeat of the AC Milan side that won back-to-back European Cups under Arrigo Sacchi in the 1980s. "He was fat and moved slowly, yet during the game he thought quicker than everyone else," Sacchi once said of the man he later recruited as co-coach of Italy. "On the pitch he was the ideal coach."
A Champions League legend
After three years with the Azzurri (1992-95), Ancelotti took charge of Serie B outfit AC Reggiana, whom he led immediately into the top tier. His recipe for success has since produced countless titles in Italy, England, France and Spain, while he is the only head coach to have won three European Cups in the UEFA Champions League era.
Bayern were one of his last victims at Europe's top table, back in Pep Guardiola's first season in charge of the club. The Bavarians went into the 2013/14 edition of the competition as holders, only to be blown away in the semi-finals, losing 1-0 in Madrid and 4-0 at the Allianz Arena. No one knew it at the time, but Ancelotti had just passed the first-stage job interview with flying colours.
The perfect candidate
"Carlo Ancelotti has enjoyed success everywhere and has won three Champions League titles." Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge reminded media upon news of the 58-year-old's appointment as Guardiola's successor last December. "Carlo is a calm, balanced professional, who can deal with stars and deliver a range of playing styles. That's what we were looking for and that's what we found."
As he did in England with Chelsea FC, in France with Paris-Saint Germain and in Spain with Real Madrid, Ancelotti is already mastering the mother tongue of his new employers to ensure the next chapter in his decorated career gets off to the smoothest of starts. While the occasional linguistic faux pas is to be expected, there will be no such blunders on the pitch from a man whose tactics are as polished, precise and productive as they come.