Carlo Ancelotti has claimed that he is still an Everton fan ahead of facing Liverpool in the Champions League final.
Ancelotti masterminded an unbelievable comeback against Manchester City last night to book Madrid their place in the showpiece in Paris.
And speaking to the press via realmadrid.com after the game, the Italian said facing Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will be ‘like a derby’ for him.
“I’m delighted to be involved in another final against a great team in Liverpool,” said the 62-year-old. “I played against them as a player and as a manager.
“I faced Liverpool in 2005, in 2007 and I was in Liverpool for two years. For me it is like a derby because I still am an Everton fan.”
Unfortunately that may be just about the closest The Toffees will ever get to a Champions League final!
Liverpool’s mixed record against Ancelotti
Hopefully it won’t go the same way as the last Merseyside Derby Ancelotti oversaw. Under the legendary coaches’ stewardship Everton recorded a 2-0 win at an empty Anfield in February 2021.
Prior to that, Ancelotti actually had a pretty good record against Liverpool for the Blues. In the four games that he took charge of against their city rivals, Liverpool only won one, losing one and drawing the other two.
Given the kind of one-sided affairs that we’ve seen since his departure at the end of last season, that’s a respectable record.
The Derbies Ancelotti coached were tempestuous affairs, too. He was the man in charge of the infamous game at Goodison Park which left both Thiago Alcantara and Virgil Van Dijk with long-term injuries.
Ghosts of Champions League finals past
As Ancelotti mentions, he has previous with Liverpool on a personal level in the Champions League, too.
He was the coach on the receiving end of the competition’s most famous comeback in Istanbul in 2005. The then AC Milan boss got his revenge on Rafa Benitez’s Reds in Athens two years later.
With one win apiece in the previous two meetings, Paris could represent the decider in his own personal battle with Liverpool.
From a Liverpool point of view, let’s hope it’s very much more Istanbul ’05 than Athens ’07