Carlo Ancelotti claims the Milan team who lost the Champions League to Liverpool in 2005 were better than his winners of 2003 and 2007.
Today marks 13 years since Milan beat Manchester United 3-0 to reach the 2006-07 Champions League Final, and Ancelotti looked back on their ‘perfect’ performance.
“The goal we conceded in the last minute of the first leg was very important,” he said during an Instagram interview.
“It ended 3-2 and this forced us to play an attacking game, more ruthless than if the first leg had ended 2-2.
“There was a lot of tension, it hadn’t been a brilliant season and the Champions League was a very important objective.
“It had been a troubled season, which started from the qualifiers without any preparation. We tried to double up on [Cristiano] Ronaldo as much as possible. Gattuso did it very well.
“There were then a series of favourable circumstances; the right weather, goals at the right time. That’s why it was a perfect match.”
The Everton boss won two Champions Leagues with the Rossoneri, but he felt the team who lost to Liverpool on penalties in Istanbul were superior to those who won in 2005 and 2007.
“The 2007 team was technically inferior than the 2005 team, who remain the best team with the best performance in a Final.
“The 2005 team were better than the one in 2003. In 2007, we had extraordinary motivation. We won it through motivation rather than quality.
“I watched [the Istanbul Final] back 10 years later. We also played very well in extra time. [Jamie] Carragher told me they couldn’t take it anymore and they wanted to go to penalties.”
In contrast, Carletto guided the Diavolo to just one Scudetto in 2004.
“I haven’t won many league titles, that’s the competition which rewards consistency.
“We went to Rome and Turin and won. We had a consistent campaign. The only moment of difficulty came after we went out to Deportivo [La Coruna] and with the defeat to Udinese after the loss in the Intercontinental Cup [to Boca Juniors].”