Real Madrid has chosen an experienced former coach instead of another former player to try to get the team back to the right level after a disappointing season.
Madrid hired Carlo Ancelotti on Tuesday to replace Zinedine Zidane, who left last week after the team’s first season without trophies in more than a decade. Many expected the job to go to former Madrid great Raul Gonzalez, who, like Zidane, coached Team B before taking over the squad.
But club president Florentino Perez instead went with the coach who led the team to its 10th European title in 2014, signing it for the next three seasons. Ancelotti, 61, coached the Spanish powerhouse for two seasons from 2013 to 2015, winning a total of four titles.
Ancelotti has also won two Champions League titles with Milan and boasts coaching clubs in all five European leagues. He arrives in Madrid after leaving the club in the Everton Premier League, where he has been since the end of 2019.
“While I enjoy being at Everton, I have an unexpected opportunity, which I think is the right move for me and my family right now,” Ancelotti said in a statement on the Everton website.
Ancelotti is the coach of Madrid with the most victories in his first 100 competitive matches at the helm of the Spanish power plant, with 78. His other titles with Madrid come in the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
“The Italian is returning to our club after rewriting the history books during his first spell in the hot seat of Real Madrid,” a statement from Madrid said. “The new coach can boast of extensive experience and an impressive trophy.”
He will take over a team that has been overshadowed by injuries this season. It was unclear whether some key players would return, including Sergio Ramos. There is also uncertainty as to whether players like Gareth Bale will return after a rental absence. No major signings are expected, as the club continues to struggle financially.
Ancelotti joined Everton in December 2019, taking over from Marco Silva. The club finished 12th in the Premier League last year before finishing 10th in Ancelotti’s only full season.
“I would like to thank Everton, my players and the fans for giving me the opportunity to run this fantastic and historic club,” Ancelotti said on Twitter. “I decided to leave because I have a new challenge with a team that has always been in my heart, Real Madrid.”
Zidane was Ancelotti’s assistant when Madrid won their tenth European trophy. Zidane eventually led Madrid to another Champions League title in 2016-18, but he left last week, saying he lacked the club’s support for a long-term project. He led Madrid to 11 titles in two different matches.
In the latter, which began in March 2019, Madrid fought for the Spanish league title until the last round, but finished two points behind city rivals Atletico Madrid, failing to defend their title and lift trophies for the first time. league for the first time since 2007-08.
In the Champions League, Zidane led the team to the semi-finals, but he was eventually eliminated by Chelsea. In the Copa del Rey, Madrid lost to third division club Alcoyano in the round of 16.
Other coaches who have been announced to replace Zidane were Antonio Conte, Mauricio Pochettino and Xabi Alonso.
Ancelotti replaced Jose Mourinho in Madrid in 2013, taking over a team that still had Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale at their best, and also included Angel Di Maria and Alonso.
The team won the European title this first season, but fought in the second, which led to the shooting of Ancelotti.
Now the Italian gets a second chance with Madrid, where the goal will be to make the Spanish power plant a winner again.