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Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid: The Worst Sacking in Football History?

Carlo Ancelotti is simply one of the best in the business, and his sacking from Real Madrid certainly needed some second thought when the overall performance of Real Madrid taken into account.

Last updated: 17.07.2019
Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid: The Worst Sacking in Football History? | Sports Social Blog

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It’s common knowledge that Real Madrid as a club ranks high even among the elites of football. History, class, trophies, money: Real Madrid has it all. As a result, the club has been host to some of the most incredible managers and players in the game. This is the club that has won the most UCL’s and La Liga’s and it walks and talks accordingly. Even more so than other big teams, Real Madrid never seemed to have any hesitation in cutting players and managers from the squad depending on how they played and for how long.


There’s no dancing around the fact that Carlo Ancelotti is one of the most successful managers in history. He is one of only three managers to have won the Champions League thrice and one of only seven players to have the European Cup/CL as both a player and a manager. He has won domestic titles in Italy, France, England, and Germany. The Italian is as good as they come. 



He primarily managed teams that favoured attack and he augmented them accordingly. In every club, he would always tinker around with the formations to improve the teams and exercise flexibility. In Real Madrid, he took Mourinho’s, centre-midfield heavy 4-2-3-1 and switched it to a 4-4-2 and eventually the 4-3-3 formation which was Real Madrid’s go-to formation with Ronaldo for the years to come. He has been known to be very good at motivating players while keeping calm and cool, which we often see first hand in the pitch. Because of how he tinkers with playstyles, while still giving players a lot of freedom to act according to their own smarts, he has been on the receiving end of a lot of praise. He never hesitated to change tactics to see what fit the team the best the current Napoli manager has always been lauded for that as well.


Time at Madrid and Bringing back the UCL :

Cralo Ancelotti at Real Madrid


Carlo Ancelotti took over for Los Blancos in 2013 after Jose Mourinho left the club after placing 2nd on the League Table, the Champions League well still running dry. He bought  Gareth Bale for €100 Million breaking the record at the time. It had also been long-awaited for Madrid fans, akin to the Hazard transfer that took place in today’s window. He also bought Isco and Illaramendi while Higuain left the club and went to Napoli. He changed the formation to 4-4-2 as mentioned above(eventually 4-3-3). He won his first league game with Real Madrid against Betis (2-1). His first major trophy at Madrid was when he won the Copa Del Rey in 2014 after beating Barcelona in the final. Under him, Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich in the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League with an aggregate score of 5-0 taking Madrid to their first final since 2002. This was even more impressive considering that Bayern Munich was practically invincible at the time, winning the previous UCL. They faced Atletico Madrid in the final. After extra time the score read 4-1 and Real Madrid had won their historic 10th UCL trophy under the management of Carlo Ancelotti. Fans were ecstatic as Los Blancos won the UCL after 12 long years. All the expensive managerial changes and the player acquisitions had finally paid off.


Post-UCL Tenure and Unfair Departure:


After winning the Champions League, Ancelotti signed Keylor Navas, Toni Kroos and James Rodrigues and as hindsight tells us, they proved to be quite critical(Especially the first two). The Club won the UEFA Super Cup beating Sevilla. After selling Xabi Alonso and Di Maria, the club got off to a slow start in the league. That was all turned around once they started winning it didn’t stop. Real Madrid went on a record-breaking 22-match winning streak eventually losing to Valencia. After losing to Juventus in the UCL semi-final, failing to retain the Copa Del Rey and losing the UCL by just two points to Barcelona, Ancelotti was dismissed from the club.


In his short time, he achieved a lot, including the historic Champions League trophy. While he couldn’t win anything in the subsequent season, Real Madrid did perform very well as indicated by the semifinal position and record-breaking 22-match win streak. Those years were also under CR7’s greatest scoring years, achieving his mammoth 61-goal tally in the 2014-15 season and also his record 17-goal UCL tally. 


Eventually, Rafa Benitez was brought in for Carlo Ancelotti and what followed was an infamously poor season. Zidane was brought to replace him and he took the club back to the top. 


In conclusion, Carlo Ancelotti is one of the best managers in history and his time at Real Madrid was in accordance with that. Even in his trophyless season, Real Madrid’s standings were still decent. There was the win streak and the important Kroos and Keylor Navas signings, both of whom would be influential in Real Madrid’s UCLs to come. There’s certainly enough evidence to consider his departure the worst sacking in history. Currently, he is managing Napoli who finished 2nd in the recent Serie A with players like Piotr Zielinski and Koulibaly really coming into their own. 



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