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Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid: victories, trophies, records...

Carlo Ancelotti has been elected for the AS Sport Award after a brilliant 2022 with Real Madrid.

Real Madrid's Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti looks on during the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on May 28, 2022. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Carlo Ancelotti has been elected for the AS Sport Award after a brilliant 2022 that saw the Real Madrid head coach win his fourth Champions League and reach the milestone of being the only coach to win Europe’s top five leagues.

With 450 top-flight appearances at club level (three seasons at Parma, eight at Roma and four at Milan), Ancelotti has made a further 1,244 appearances on the bench. In total, 44 seasons (28 as a coach) living and breathing football. Ancelotti, in his return to Real Madrid, has broken all records.

Last season Ancelotti went down in Real Madrid history for winning the double (La Liga and Champions League). In one fell swoop, he became the first manager to win all five major European leagues (Spain, France, England, Italy and Germany) and also overtook Bob Paisley and Zinedine Zidane (both three European Cups) as the manager with the most Champions League titles (he has four). With him at the helm, Madrid won a title every 24.5 games.

That dream season earned the Italian several personal awards, such as the UEFA award for Best Coach in Europe, recognising the importance of the risky decisions he made in the comebacks against PSG and Manchester City. He was also honoured by Tuttosport and at the Globe Soccer awards. Carlo Ancelotti now has the recognition of this newspaper. The Italian has won the AS Sports Award not only for what he did last season, but also for making history at Madrid, with who he has already won eight titles. He is only behind the 11 won by Zidane - he can surpass him this season, with five more titles at stake apart from the European Super Cup (already won) - and the 14 won by Miguel Muñoz.

Ancelotti during the Champions League match between Real Madrid and Celtic on 2 November 22
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Ancelotti during the Champions League match between Real Madrid and Celtic on 2 November 22 JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELADiarioAS

Numbers for the history books

In addition to these two milestones, being the only one to win the five major leagues and the first to win four European Cups, which place him as one of the best coaches in history, Ancelotti adds another very significant record. He finished last season as the manager with the most wins in the 21st century with 618. After the first third of this season, he has already won 634 times in the dugout, and behind him are illustrious coaches such as Arsene Wenger (603), Jose Mourinho (584), Pep Guardiola (578) and Alex Ferguson (491).

Challenges ahead

Ancelotti still has challenges ahead of him. The main one, which is still open, is to win the sextuple, something that only Pep Guardiola could do with Barcelona in 2009 and Hansi Flick with Bayern Munich in the season interrupted by the pandemic. Beyond that circumstance, and returning to Real Madrid, there has not been a manager who has managed to retain the league title in consecutive seasons since Leo Beenhakker with Madrid’s Quinta del Buitre (in 1987, 1988 and 1989).

The Italian will finish the season as the fourth on the list for most games in charge of the club (he could reach 237). In four games he will reach the 200 mark. He has 196 games under his belt with a spectacular record of 44 wins, 73.5%. The 200 games is a milestone that has only been crossed by three of Madrid’s legends: Muñoz (605 games), Zidane (263) and Del Bosque (246).

Brilliant after his return to the Santiago Bernabéu

He returned to Real Madrid against all odds in 2021. “I’m very happy to be here,” he said at the time. “I feel like this is my home. I’m going to put all my energy to be able to do what we have done in the past. I have very good memories of my last stint here. I think we’re going to repeat something good in this experience.”

To do so, Ancelotti has had to reinvent himself. “Football has changed in recent years, now it’s more aggressive and organised,” he said at the time. “But at Madrid, it’s always the same: attacking and wonderful football. That’s what the history of this club requires.” And if there is one thing Madrid’s history requires, it is winning. With Ancelotti, this team has found the perfect coach to do it.


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