Carlo Ancelotti confessed “Zinedine Zidane at Juventus changed my idea of football” and he still regrets turning away Roberto Baggio.
The former Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich Coach sat down for a lengthy interview with the Corriere dello Sport newspaper. You can read more extracts here.
He was part of Arrigo Sacchi’s Grande Milan side as a player and went on to embrace the tactician’s philosophy of 4-4-2, but one man made him change his ways.
“Zidane at Juventus changed my idea of football. I had stopped Parma from signing Baggio, who already had an agreement with the club. Baggio was one of the greatest talents in Italian football history, but I already had Enrico Chiesa and Hernan Crespo.
“Basically, I had a style of football that put players in boxes and did not include a trequartista, the role that Roberto had asked for. If Baggio had arrived after the Zidane turning point of my career, I’d have gladly worked with him.
“Zidane transformed everything, because I put the team in a box around the champion, making it a custom-made suit for Zizou.”
The pair went on to work together on the bench too for Real Madrid, with Zidane eventually lifting the Champions League as Coach too.
Looking back over his career, Ancelotti was asked for his highlights.
“The eight years at Milan stand apart from everything else, but if you want the truth about the rest, I’ll say Madrid. Real Madrid is Real Madrid and all Coaches should have the chance to work in a city like that.”