The first success in 2003 in the final against Juve on penalties, after having eliminated Inter in the semifinals. An encore in 2007 against the Reds, avenging Istanbul. In 2014 the first with the Blancos, the number 10 for Madrid. And now the poker that allows him to detach Paisley and Zidane
Sunday 25 February 1990, Rome-Milan. We play at the Flaminio because the Olimpico is undergoing restructuring in view of the Italy ’90 World Cup. At half-time, Sacchi’s Rossoneri are up 2-0: Tempestilli’s own goal and Van Basten’s goal. The Giallorossi ultras do not take it well. There is even a sink on the pitch! Prince Giannini tries to calm them down. No way. Here comes him, Carletto Magno. A gesture is enough. It doesn’t matter if he’s wearing the Devil’s shirt. He remains in the hearts of the Romanists. Ancelotti was also this. Respected and admired by those who have been able to appreciate him, first as a player and then as a coach.
Now he is Charles King of Cups. God, it was before. But now he looks down on everyone. Because he has raised four Champions League leaders driving Milan and Real off the bench. “A great champion” says his son Davide. And they all think so. But do you realize how difficult it is to win the European Cup? There are those who have tried for a lifetime. He plays them, trains them. And he wins them. He is the first in history to play poker. He detached Bob Paisley, who won three with Liverpool (1977, 78 and 81), beating the Reds (for the second time, the first with the Devil in Athens in 2007) and Zinedine Zidane, who between 2016 and 2018 made three of a kind with Madrid.
The first time is never forgotten. Arrives in the Theater of Dreams, Old Trafford, on penalties against Juve, which Ancelotti had led from ’99 to 2001, never loved for his past as a rival player, kicked out despite the 144 points in the league obtained in two years. Even more memorable is the semifinal, that of the “Seven days of Milan”. Two more than those of the insurrection against the Austrians. The semifinals of 7 and 13 May with Inter. Zero to zero in the first leg, Sheva (the one of the ice-eyed penalty against Buffon in the final) who scored “at home” by the Nerazzurri in the recovery of the first half in the return leg. Olafemi Martins equalized with 6 ‘from the end. Thanks to the away goal Milan passes. Who had killed Ajax in the quarterfinals with a paw from Tomasson in the 91st minute of the return match. Three days after the ecstasy of Old Trafford Ancelotti also won the Italian Cup at San Siro against Roma. Then he takes the microphone and intones: “Come on fight, you will win, we will not leave you maaaai”, the choir of the South so dear to him.
Two years after the Istanbul nightmare, Carletto takes his revenge on the Reds in Athens. In the sweetest way for the AC Milan fans, because signed by Superpippo Inzaghi with a brace that makes them enjoy like never before. Milan starts from the preliminaries after having slipped to 4th place due to the Calciopoli scandal and eliminates – a sign of destiny – the Red Star. Yes, that of the Belgrade fog that gave way to the dynasty of Arrigo Sacchi and the Dutch. In the round of 16 he risks with Celtic, who only gets out in extra time. In the quarterfinals he rules Bayern Munich and in the semifinals he eliminates United by overturning the 2-3 of the first leg with the perfect match at San Siro: 3-0 with goals from Kakà, Seedorf and Gilardino. The final on Greek soil is the apotheosis of a group that was approaching the terminus.
It is the year of the “Tenth”. Dominant. Almost embarrassing. In the round of 16 Schalke 04 is swept away with a 9-2 aggregate. In the quarterfinals he trims 3 to Dortmund in the first leg and after some thrills in the return leg (0-2), he hits the semifinal. Where it sweeps away Bayern Munich: 1-0 and 5-0. The final is played at the Da Luz stadium in Lisbon. And it’s Madrid derby. Godin’s goal in the 36th minute seems to mark the fate of the match. But in the 93rd minute, Sergio Ramos’ kick takes the final to extra time. Where the Blancos are rampant: Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo on a penalty.
We arrive at May 28, the final with Liverpool. The last one, but only in chronological order. When you beat – in order – PSG, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, what is left to say? Except it’s the biggest ever. The most beautiful? As Tom Brady always says, the greatest football player (and not only …) in history, the most beautiful is always the next …
29 maggio – 00:21
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