Carlo Ancelotti calls it “The Sack Club”, and everyone’s a member. Getting sacked, after all, is part of the job definition for any football manager. Sooner or later, they all get the boot. (Except Pep Guardiola, the exception to the rule ... so far.)
And Ancelotti has been sacked many times. His current appointment is the tenth of a long and glittering managerial career that spans a quarter century. Most did not end on his terms, despite a total trophy count (~20) that ranks among the best in history — in fact, no one’s won more Champions League trophies than his 3 (only matched by Bob Paisley and Zinedine Zidane), or more UEFA competitions than his 7 (only matched by Sir Alex Ferguson and Giovanni Trapattoni).
He was sacked once already this season, by Napoli. Previously, he was sacked by Bayern, by Real, by Juventus, and of course by Chelsea. Parma sacked him after he led them to UEFA Cup qualification. Napoli sacked him after he qualified them for the Champions League knockout rounds. Juventus sacked him at half-time, Bayern the day after. But it’s generally agreed that none were as egregious as the Chelsea sacking, in the Goodison tunnels not long after the final whistle sounded on the 2010-11 season, twelve months after an historic Double.
Ancelotti in fact made a wry reference to that upon his appointment on Merseyside.
“I was sacked here by Chelsea in the corridor down there. I think you have to put a little plaque there now: Here was sacked Carlo...’
-Carlo Ancelotti; source: Mail
If Carlo holds any grudges, he certainly doesn’t show it. Never has, and quite possibly never will. He looks on the bright side of life, and puts the rest down to the necessary business of football.
So as he prepares to return to Stamford Bridge in an official capacity for the first time ever, he has nothing but nice things to say about the club, the owner, and his time in the SW6. Not that anyone would expect anything less.
“The fact that I was sacked cannot change what I felt there – it was two fantastic years. There were problems in the second part of the final year but at the end it was a fantastic experience.
“I spoke with [Abramovich] maybe three times since. I still have a good relationship with him. He was very kind the two or three times I went back to watch Chelsea games and so I have to say thanks to him because he gave to me a great opportunity to be the manager of one of the top teams in England.”
-Carlo Ancelotti; source: Guardian
The man’s so nice, you almost don’t want him to lose on Sunday. Almost...