Ancelotti set to face his nemesis once again after last year’s humiliation


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Carlo Ancelotti is a name synonymous to the Champions League. He won it twice, both as a player and manager with AC Milan, and twice with Real Madrid, making him the most decorated manager of the competition.

No manager has won more Champions League titles than him and only three managers have had repeated success – Bob Paisley, Zinedine Zidane, and Pep Guardiola, who have won the competition thrice.

However – as highlighted by Mundo Deportivo – 19 years separate Ancelotti’s most painful memories in the competition.

The first of these was AC Milan’s 4-0 loss to Deportivo La Coruna in the 2nd leg quarter-final in 2004, ultimately crashing out despite winning the 1st leg 4-1. Then, last season, the Italian suffered another 0-4 loss, but this time at the hands of Manchester City at the Etihad in the 2nd leg of the semi-final, with Real Madrid.

His 50th Champions League game with Real Madrid was rather forgettable as he was totally outclassed and outplayed by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

The Italian started Eduardo Camavinga as a left-back, with Kroos as a central defensive midfielder despite having a solid player in that position in Aurelien Tchouameni, who was kept on the bench. This approach clearly backfired and the Spanish giants suffered their second heaviest defeat in the competition.

Overall, Carlo Ancelotti does not have a good record against Manchester City, having lost 8 times out of 11. His Chelsea side defeated City in stoppage time in 2011, and the other win was the memorable comeback that Real Madrid completed in the 2021/22 season, thanks to Rodrygo’s brace.

Ancelotti’s Champions League wins with Real Madrid have been etched in every Madridista’s brain. The famous 2013/14 season, where Sergio Ramos’ header in stoppage time propelled them to ‘La Decima’, that is, the club’s 10th Champions League victory.

The next season, while at the helm, Carlo’s side was knocked out in the semi-final against Juventus. Upon his return in 2021, Karim Benzema’s brilliance and some miraculous moments helped Real Madrid win their 14th Champions League title.

This season, Real Madrid come up against Manchester City after having a perfect record in the group stages, and having overcome a difficult RB Leipzig side in the Round of 16. Moreover, Ancelotti has never been knocked out of the quarter-finals since 2004.

Thus, despite not having the best of records against the English side, Don Carlo has a chance to put last year’s demons behind by knocking City out of the competition and, hopefully, leading Real Madrid to their 15th Champions title.

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