Wednesday November 20 2013
'I’ve always picked the team'

Carlo Ancelotti has mused on how the Christmas tree formation came about in Milan and affirmed ‘no President has ever said ‘pick this player’.’

The Italian has launched a new book this month discussing tactical development in football during his so far 18-year career as a Coach.

Publicising it this week, the current Real Madrid boss reflected on various aspects discussed, including how his famous ‘Christmas tree’ formation developed at San Siro

“In Milan there was a very particular philosophy, where they love spectacular football,” considered Ancelotti in an interview this week with Marca.

“[Milan President Silvio] Berlusconi claimed that the team was playing well and so came about the idea of the Christmas tree to play all the quality players.

“It served the sacrifice of everyone to adapt to the philosophy of the club. You cannot play quality football without quality players.”

Ancelotti has worked with a number of the game’s more notable club Presidents, but made clear that only he has picked the team.

“I have had Presidents who have become fans after buying a club, such as Abramovic at Chelsea or Nasser at PSG, but Florentino Perez and Berlusconi are different, they have been fans of their teams since they were born.

“They have passion, but it is the Coach who makes the decisions and none of them have ever picked the team. No President has ever said ‘pick this player’.

“Berlusconi asked me a lot of questions, I also discussed things with him. ‘The team needs to play with three strikers,’ he told me. I replied that I had Inzaghi, Kaka and Shevchenko, but he told me Kaka was not a striker.

“Every President has their own ideas, that’s for sure, but in the end I decide. Often I've made bad decisions - that's football for you.

“I don't say so in the book, but no President has ever told me who I should play.”