Here’s what you need to know about Carlo Ancelotti’s near move from Real Madrid to Brazil in late 2023.
In December of 2023, Real Madrid announced a contract extension for Carlo Ancelotti, one of the most successful managers in European soccer history. The extension agreed to keep him in Madrid for at least three more seasons, but it didn’t come without drama. Rumors swirled that Ancelotti was entertaining options to become Brazil’s national team manager in 2024. For Ancelotti, it was just the most recent contract extension in a long and decorated career, but for Real Madrid, it could have left the team in limbo after winning another La Liga trophy in 2021. Here’s everything that happened during the contract extension talks.
Carlo Ancelotti’s History
Born in Reggiolo, Italy, Ancelotti was a midfielder who played in 338 professional games between 1976 and 1992. That included long stints with Serie A’s Roma and AC Milan. However, it wasn’t until after his playing days that he began to make a profound mark on international soccer as a manager. Ancelotti was a good player, but his managerial career is among the most decorated in history, and he is considered by many to be one of the most excellent managers in the sport’s history.
He started with Reggiana and Parma before catching his first big break with Juventus, leading to a long stint with AC Milan. He has won a German, French, Italian, and Spanish championship, two Spanish Cups, four UEFA Supercups, and one English FA Cup, and has been named the world’s best coach twice. He did that first at AC Milan in 2006 and then again at Real Madrid during his first stint as a soccer betting odds darling.
Ancelotti’s First Years at Real Madrid
After jumping from AC Milan to Chelsea and then to Paris Saint-Germain, Ancelotti found himself at Real Madrid with one of the most stacked rosters in the world. From 2013 to 2015, those teams employed Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, and Marcelo.
Real Madrid won Copa del Rey in his first year, but the squad finished a disappointing third place in La Liga. Their struggles in La Liga continued in the next two seasons, when they failed to win a championship and were somewhat uncompetitive in Copa del Rey. As a result, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez fired Ancelotti after the 2015 season.
After Real Madrid
After being fired, Ancelotti signed on as the manager at Bayern Munich, where he found immediate success. Led by Robert Lewandowski, Bayern won the Bundesliga both seasons under Ancelotti, winning the DFL–Supercup and the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2017–18. However, Ancelotti was dismissed following a 3–0 loss to PSG in that Champions League group play. Reports surfaced that he had lost the dressing room, and several players wanted him out.
Ancelotti then spent time with Napoli before again being fired and signing a four-and-a-half-year contract with Everton. He was named the Premier League Manager of the Month in September 2020. Despite Everton’s struggles in the Premier League, his abilities put him back on Real Madrid’s map.
A Second Stint and Looming Contract
In June of 2021, Ancelotti resigned from Everton and signed a contract through 2024 with Real Madrid after Zinedine Zidane resigned as manager for a second time. Like his first stint, Real Madrid’s roster was stacked with star power, including Benzema, Modrić, and Marcelo. However, the players were getting older, and captain Sergio Ramos would retire before the season.
Despite this, Real Madrid responded to Ancelotti’s first season back with one of the winningest seasons in the club’s history, winning La Liga, UEFA Champions League, and Supercopa de España, as well as reaching the quarterfinals at Copa del Rey. It marked Ancelotti’s fourth Champions League title as coach, giving him the most titles in the competition’s history. They had another successful season in 2022–2023, winning their 20th Copa del Rey, another UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup. However, they finished second in La Liga, and rumors swirled that Ancelotti may be interested in the Brazil national team job.
The rumors accelerated contract talks between Ancelotti and Real Madrid. The reports included Ancelotti’s preference that Real Madrid sign a center-back in January. Perez quickly accepted his conditions, extending Ancelotti’s second stint in Madrid until at least 2026.
“In his five seasons as coach of Real Madrid, he has won 10 trophies: two Champions League, two Club World Cups, two European Super Cups, one league title, two Copas del Rey and one Spanish Supercopa,” the club said. Ancelotti responded on X, saying it was a “happy day” as he returned looking for “new, greater successes.”
Where Does Real Madrid Go From Here?
For the time being, Real Madrid’s immediate future is secure. They will not be looking for a manager in 2024 and, hopefully, not again until 2026. However, the expectations for Ancelotti will be high. His second stint in Madrid has been marked by consistent winning, something Perez expects yearly. With an aging roster, it will take time to see how Ancelotti responds.