Madrid – Carlo Ancelotti returned to Real Madrid for a second spell as coach on Tuesday, re-joining the club from Everton, after agreeing a three-year deal at the Bernabeu.
The Italian was previously in charge of Real between 2013 and 2015, and replaces Zinedine Zidane, who left the La Liga club last month.
“While I have enjoyed being at Everton I have been presented with an unexpected opportunity which I believe is the right move for me and my family at this time,” Ancelotti said in a statement on the Everton website.
Ancelotti has one of the most-decorated CVs in world football and won the Champions League with Real in 2014, helping the Spaniards to their fabled ‘Decima’ (10th) European crown, before being sacked 12 months later.
The 61-year-old is one of three coaches, along with former Liverpool manager Bob Paisley and Zidane, to have won the European Cup or Champions League on three occasions, having also led AC Milan to glory in 2003 and 2007.
His honours list includes league titles in four different countries at Milan, Chelsea, Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich over a 26-year managerial career.
“Carlo Ancelotti will be the new first team coach for the next three seasons,” a brief Real Madrid statement read.
Ancelotti will sign his contract and be presented to the media on Wednesday.
The move comes following Zidane’s decision to step down five days after his team were pipped to the La Liga title by city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Real finished two points behind Atletico, were knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-finals by eventual winners Chelsea and suffered a humiliating Copa del Rey exit to third division minnows Alcoyano during a rare trophy-less season.
Zidane subsequently hit out at the club in an open letter, saying: “I’m leaving because I feel the club no longer has the faith in me I need, nor the support to build something in the medium or long term.”
It brought an end to a second spell in charge of the club that was fraught with tension.
The end of the Frenchman’s tenure was surrounded by questions over his reliance on players the wrong side of 30 like Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema and his willingness to oversee the rebuild the club felt it needed.
Ancelotti was considered something of a coup when Everton announced his appointment on a four-and-a-half year contract in December 2019, and he guided the club to a 12th-place Premier League finish in his first season.
The Italian then oversaw an impressive summer transfer window, signing Colombian star James Rodriguez from Real Madrid as well as the likes of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ben Godfrey, and Everton started the campaign in superb form, winning their first seven games in all competitions.
The Toffees remained in European contention throughout the season but a dip in form towards the end of the campaign, when they picked up three wins from their final 12 league games, saw them slide to a disappointing mid-table finish.
“The club will begin the process of appointing a new manager immediately and will provide updates in due course,” read an Everton statement. — Reuters