Carlo Ancelotti quotes
Five quotes about Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti ahead of Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg against holders Bayern Munich:
1- "As a bloke, he's a really funny guy, always joke telling. I have to translate, unfortunately, if he wants to crack into something quite humorous. But he tells the players jokes and seems to enjoy their company," -- Ray Wilkins, Ancelotti's assistant at Chelsea, speaking in 2009. Contrary to his serious appearance on the touchline, away from it Ancelotti is a chain smoker and a noted joker. He tells the team jokes before they go out onto the pitch, a ritual he learnt from his playing days under his former coach at AS Roma Nils Liedholm.
2 - "Everyone knows my situation. I don't have a problem managing the team for this reason. It's difficult, emotionally, when it's your father... but this is life. I have to do my best to stay close to him, but this is life." -- Ancelotti talking about balancing his personal angst over visiting his then-ill 87-year-old father back in Italy and managing Chelsea during the 2010/11 season. His father subsequently died and Ancelotti was sacked when they failed to win a trophy a season after he brought them the domestic double.
3 - "Ancelotti will be a breath of fresh air. Real Madrid has great players, they just need to play like a team. Ancelotti will make that happen. He has played and coached at the very top, so he knows full well what goes on in the dressing room." -- Ancelotti gets the thumbs up from Dutch great and hard to please former Barcelona coach Johan Cruyff when he was appointed Real coach last year.
4 - "My ass is earthquake-proof." -- Ancelotti telling the Financial Times earlier this season about how the fear of the sack has diminished as the years have gone on.
5 - "The team had done the maximum to win this game. So I couldn't be angry. I think this was destiny. Football is the most important of the less important things in the world." -- Also to the Financial Times referring to the Champions League final defeat by Liverpool in 2005 when his AC Milan side led 3-0 at half-time but succumbed on penalties.