His appointment was inevitable and unavoidable. Last week saw by far the worst kept secret in soccer become reality as Carlo Ancelotti signed a three year contract with Real Madrid, signaling the end of a long term pursuit by Florentino Perez for the manager, dating back to 2009, and simultaneously commencing what looks to be a fruitful relationship.
Late last month, Madrid announced the departure of Jose Mourinho, bringing to an end three successful yet turbulent years at the club. Political fall-outs with the club’s hierarchy, in conjunction with fraught relationships with fans, media and players all marred a reign, which despite winning every Spanish title on offer over a three year period in hindsight his reign will be seen as a failure
On the other side of the spectrum, the Italian tactician arrives at Madrid coming off a successful two-year spell at French based club Paris Saint-Germain. The signings of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic amongst others brought about success en-route to a Ligue 1 title and a successful run into the quarter finals of the Champions League before their hopes of European success were dashed as they were eliminated by eventual semi-finalists Barcelona thanks in large to a brilliant display by hamstrung Lionel Messi.
Having been described as a ‘peacemaker’ by Madrid based Marca prior to his imminent arrival, Ancelotti will be tasked with not only wrestling away the coveted La Liga crown off their Catalan rivals, but also claiming the allusive La Decima, a title which played a role in his predecessor’s eventually departure.
Before he commences his pursuit of silverware, Ancelotti will be faced with the unavoidable task of rebuilding a side which has been left divided and lacking in confidence. And with egos of likes of Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe, it will be no easy task. Nevertheless, throughout his career, the Italian has been seen as a father-like figure and dressing room problems should prove to be a task he is capable of resolving.
Despite having obtained fewer trophies than Mourinho throughout his career, Ancelotti has the added benefit of playing at the professional level in what was considered to be the best league in Europe, Serie A. He has seemingly grown with the game. Before becoming a manager, he played as a technical midfielder in the famous Milan shirt under the guidance of Fabio Capello, from whom he picked up a vast array of tactical knowledge, which in turn allows for tactical flexibility.