Days after becoming the first-ever manager to complete football's own 'Grand Slam', Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti created yet another history Wednesday night -- this time by reaching a fifth UEFA Champions League final. (More Football News)
No manager has done it before him. Besides becoming the first man to lead four different clubs to the Champions League semi-finals, the Italian is also one of only three managers to have won the tournament three times. Bob Paisley (with Liverpool in 1977, 1978 and 1981) and Zinedine Zidane are the two others.
Ancelotti, 62, last won the Champions League with Real Madrid, helping Los Blancos end a wait of 12 years to complete 'La Decima'. On May 29 at Stade de France in Paris, Carlo Ancelotti can lift 'La Orejona' for an unprecedented fourth time with a win against Liverpool.
Before Real Madrid's sensational win against Pep Guardiola's City, 'Don Carlo' scripted remarkable come from behind wins over Lionel Messi's Paris-Saint Germain and defending champions Chelsea in the previous rounds.
But in Jurgen Klopp's quadruple-chasing Liverpool, Ancelotti will probably face the biggest test this campaign. Liverpool, who defeated Villareal 5-2 on aggregate, are in their third Champions League final in five years.
This will be Klopp's fourth final -- 2013 with Borussia Dortmund, and 2018, 2019 with Liverpool -- a feat he now shares with Alex Ferguson and Marcello Lippi.
The title showdown against six-time champions Liverpool will be Real Madrid's 17th appearance in the final. Liverpool have played nine finals.
Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp have a 3-3 win-loss record against each other in ten previous meetings, including six in the Champions League, three in English Premier League and one in FA Cup.
On a Wednesday magical night in Madrid, the 13-time European Champions overturned a 3-4 first leg defeat against Manchester City to win the tie 6-5 on aggregate and set a final date with Liverpool.
Carlo Ancelotti has started his second with Real Madrid on a rousing note by winning La Liga title with four games to spare. Real Madrid hammered Espanyol 4-0 in front of a jubilant Santiago Bernabeu crowd on Saturday. This was Real Madrid's 35th La Liga title, nine more than the second-most successful Barcelona.
In the process, the former Everton manager had become the first-ever manager to win all five of Europe's major leagues -- Italy's Serie A with AC Milan (2004), France's Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain (2013), English Premier League with Chelsea (2010), German Bundesliga with Bayern Munich (2017) and Spain's La Liga with Real Madrid (2022).
Ancelotti, 62, last won the Champions League with Real Madrid, helping Los Blancos end a wait of 12 years to complete 'La Decima'. On May 29 at Stade de France in Paris, Carlo Ancelotti can lift La Orejona for an unprecedented fourth time.
Carlo Ancelotti first won the Champions League, then known as European Cup, as a player with AC Milan in 1989 and 1990. The former Parma and AS Roma midfielder was also part of the Italian national football team which finished third in the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Ancelotti won his first Champions League medal as a manager in 2003 after helping Rossoneri beat Juventus on penalties after a goalless extra time. But Ancelotti and Milan were stunned by Liverpool in the 2005 Istanbul final. Milan were leading 3-0 at half time, then lost on penalties.
Milan however got their revenge in 2007 with a 2-1 win over Liverpool in Athens, thus making Carlo Ancelotti one of the most successful managers. In the 2014 Lisbon final, Real Madrid beat city rivals Atletico Madrid 4-1 in extra time for their 10th Champions League title with Ancelotti at the helm.
Real Madrid had since won three more titles under Zidane, in 2016 (vs Atletico Madrid), 2017 (vs Juventus) and 2018 (vs Liverpool).