Ancelotti: Zidane changed my idea about football
By Christian Joseph Wariaye
8 months ago
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Carlo Ancelotti says coaching Zinedine Zidane at Juventus changed his ideas on how to play football.
Ancelotti was in charge of the Bianconeri from 1999 to 2001 but was unable to deliver silverware beyond the Intertoto Cup despite boasting a talented squad that included Zidane, Alessandro Del Piero, Edgar Davids and Filippo Inzaghi.
However, his time with the 1998 Ballon d’Or winner helped to shape his coaching style for the remainder of a hugely successful career.
“Zidane is the first player who gave me the possibility to change the system and play in a different way,” Ancelotti, now Everton boss, told Sky Sports.“So, when I had Zidane, in the first year at Juventus, I played with a system of 3-4-1-2, having Del Piero and Inzaghi upfront and Zidane a little bit behind. The second year, I played with a back four but keeping two strikers in front and one number 10, like Zidane.
“Zidane changed my idea of football. I was so focused before Juventus on 4-4-2 and after with Zidane, I changed, I wanted to put him in the best position for him, to let him be more comfortable on the pitch.
“The experience at Juventus was good in my opinion because I understood really well how the club has to work for the manager, so the club gave to me a lot of support in this. It doesn’t matter if they fired me at the end of the second year, until the last day in Juventus, I understood how the club has to work for the manager, to support them, to help them in front of the players, to give the manager the power that he needs to manage the players.”
Zidane went on to become Ancelotti’s assistant at Real Madrid, where they ended Los Blancos’ 12-year wait to be crowned champions of Europe by defeating Atletico Madrid after extra time in the 2014 Champions League final.