From Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Zinedine Zidane, Carlo Ancelotti is no stranger to managing the game's very best over the course of his illustrious career. Ancelotti has redefined the art of man-management as we know it, leading Europe's elite to unprecedented heights.
Today, Carletto is tasked with a new challenge as he looks to help Everton turn its fortunes around. With fierce rivals Liverpool dominating Merseyside, it won't be easy, but if any manager is up for it, it’s Ancelotti.
When Ancelotti was hired, the Toffees languished in 13th place and looked like a side devoid of any direction. Everton has since struggled to turn its season around with the former Real Madrid man at the helm, but initial signs of the Ancelotti era are encouraging.
After failing to take the next step under Marco Silva, Everton handed the veteran tactician the reigns in hopes of becoming perennial top four contenders. Few managers, if any, have Ancelotti's European pedigree. In fact, the Everton boss is one of only three managers to have won three Champions League titles, twice with Milan and once with Real Madrid.
The first challenge, however, will be qualifying for Europe's elite competition. Ancelotti will be eager to use the first transfer window to build the side in his vision and set the foundation for years to come. Accustomed to managing the game's big-name stars, the Italian tactician will now have to adapt to Everton's younger core.
Ancelotti has since turned to the Toffees’ budding talents and is slowly molding his preferred 4-4-2 setup around them. Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have formed one of the Premier League's most intriguing partnerships up front, combining dangerously in the final third.
With Alex Iwobi and Moise Kean rounding off their offensive ranks, Ancelotti has all the firepower he'll need to lead Everton back into contention for the European places.
Ancelotti is already familiar with English football, having won the domestic double in his first season with Chelsea. The job at Everton will be unlike anything he's ever taken on before, but his brief stint with the Blues will undoubtedly help him hit the ground running when play resumes. Ancelotti is very much a player's manager and, in many ways, it's what sets him apart from his peers.
“What I really loved about Carlo [Ancelotti] is his man-management, the way he adapted as well – because he had a way of coaching that probably didn’t suit English football," said John Terry. "When speaking to me, Frank [Lampard], Didier [Drogba], he wanted to pick our brains. I’ve never had a manager, actually, in all my career, that asked the players and gave them a bit of responsibility."
Ancelotti has proven he's willing to adapt to his surroundings in the past, ditching his tried-and-tested 4-4-2 at Real Madrid to fit the Galacticos's roster. Despite his wealth of experience, Ancelotti demonstrated that he's willing to change, inevitably leading the Spanish giants to a historic tenth Champions League title, la Decima.
Similarly, the veteran tactician wasted no time shaking things up at Milan after Andriy Shevchenko's departure. Ancelotti promptly abandoned his two-striker setup, deploying Clarence Seedorf and Kaka behind Pippo Inzaghi. The switch helped Milan avenge their Champions League final defeat from 2005 two years later, overcoming Liverpool 2-1.
This attitude will serve Ancelotti well has he looks to help Everton return to the upper echelons of English football. It has been 15 years since Everton last qualified for the Champions League, but with Ancelotti at the helm, that drought may very well come to an end.