Real Madrid boss Ancelotti ‘the best coach in history’ says former goalkeeper


Carlo Ancelotti, Head Coach of Real Madrid, gestures during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Valencia CF and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Mestalla on March 02, 2024 in Valencia, Spain. 

Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek has said that Carlo Ancelotti is the best manager in the history of the sport, adding that the kind of freedom he gives to his team is formidable.

“I think Ancelotti is the best coach in history who manages great teams and players,” said the former keeper as quoted by AS. 

“His way of communicating with the players and giving them freedom on the field is surprising and unusual, but it works,” he added. 

Dudek, who played 12 games for the team across four seasons, added that while winning the league title is normal, being the contender for the Champions League despite not being the favourites at the beginning of the season is what defines Real Madrid.

“Winning the Spanish League is normal for the team, but in the Champions League, there is a team that can win the title without being the favourite at the beginning of the season, and now it seems that Real Madrid is the closest to winning the title,” he said.

On the Bayern Munich game

Real Madrid played a 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich in their UEFA Champions League semi-final first-leg tie.

Speaking about the return leg at Santiago Bernabeu, Dudek said that Madrid might as well be the favourites mostly because they do not play in a fixed system.

“The next match against Bayern Munich will be one of the most important matches of the season.

“Real Madrid is a completely different team, with high-quality players and a style that is not similar to that of many other teams. 

“They are well organized and surprise you because their team’s tactics are not always clear, unlike other teams,” he explained.

Dudek’s thought on Barcelona

The former keeper went on to add that it has been a good season for Real Madrid overall mostly because La Liga is almost sealed, snatching the title from Barcelona.

“It has been a very good season for Real Madrid. We are on the verge of winning the league title after beating Barcelona, ​​which is the most important thing in La Liga.” 

Lastly, he also had words reserved for Barcelona, adding that although they are a strong team, their progress has been hampered by the troubling finances.

“Barcelona is a strong team, but it is under financial pressure and faces many problems. 

“They are building a new stadium, so they couldn’t keep up with Real Madrid, who I think thanks to their great performance this season, reached the semi-finals of the Champions League,” he added.

One of the agendas on Real Madrid’s hectic transfer window planned for June is to beef up the centre-back position.

Having recovered Eder Militao from a long-term injury, Carlo Ancelotti can breathe a sigh of relief heading into the business end of the season.

Yet, it is clear that more depth is required in the unit especially when one considers that three of the team’s four central defenders are over the age of 30.

A grass root option

As revealed recently, Real Madrid have their eyes on Alcorcon’s 17-year-old centre-back Cristian Nikolaev as a promising option and have been following his development for a while now.

The teenager stands out as an option to reinforce the ranks in the youth department and potentially make the jump to the first team based on his development.

Now, according to Mundo Deportivo, Atletico Madrid have also entered the race to sign the Bulgarian-Spanish player.

Los Rojiblancos have reportedly watched the player live multiple times and have even accelerated contacts in recent weeks. As it stands, they have an advantage in the race to sign Nikolaev.

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They are, however, not the only competitors Los Blancos must fend off as Juventus, Everton and several Spanish clubs are also said to be interested.

Who is Nikolaev?

At 17 years of age, Nikolaev plays for the subsidiary team of Alcorcon and is said to be one of the country’s more promising young defenders.

In fact, he has trained with the senior team, who are in the second division, on multiple occasions

The teenager is primarily known for his aggression, agility and quick decision-making in defence and his progress to the top has been rapid to this point.

Standing at 1.95 metres, he also boasts of a dominant aerial presence and can be a force to reckon with in the box.

Moving to the Real Madrid youth side, thus, would be a step up for the 17-year-old. What remains to be seen, however, is how far Florentino Perez is willing to push to sign the player.

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