Real Madrid hires Carlo Ancelotti as coach to replace Zidane

MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid hired Carlo Ancelotti as coach on Tuesday to replace Zinedine Zidane, who quit last week after the team’s first trophyless season in more than a decade.

The 61-year-old Ancelotti left as manager of Premier League club Everton to take over in Madrid, where he coached for two seasons from 2013 to 2015.

The Spanish club said that Ancelotti has agreed to a three-year contract and that a press conference was scheduled Wednesday.

Zidane was Ancelotti’s assistant when Madrid won its 10th European title in 2014. Ancelotti also led Madrid to titles in the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup and FIFA’s Club World Cup.

“While I have enjoyed being at Everton, I have been presented with an unexpected opportunity which I believe is the right move for me and my family at this time,” Ancelotti said in a statement on Everton’s website.

Ancelotti is Madrid’s coach with the most wins in his first 100 competitive games at the helm of the Spanish powerhouse, with 78.

“The Italian returns to our club after rewriting the history books during his first spell in the Real Madrid hot seat,” Madrid said in a statement. “The new coach boasts vast experience and an impressive trophy haul.”

Ancelotti joined Everton in December 2019, taking over from Marco Silva. The club finished 12th in the Premier League last year, before a 10th-place finish in Ancelotti’s only full season in charge.

Zidane, who led Madrid to three consecutive Champions League titles from 2016-18, quit last week saying he didn’t have the support of the club for a long-term project.

Zidane’s Madrid fought for the Spanish league title until the final round but finished two points behind city rival Atlético Madrid, failing to defend its title and lift back-to-back league trophies for the first time since 2007-08.

In the Champions League, Zidane led the team to the semifinals, but it was eventually eliminated by Chelsea. In the Copa del Rey, Madrid lost to third-division club Alcoyano in the round of 32.

Other coaches who had been touted to replace Zidane included Antonio Conte, Mauricio Pochettino, Xabi Alonso and Raúl González.

Ancelotti replaced José Mourinho at Madrid in 2013, taking over a team that still had Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at their best, and also included the likes of Ángel Di María and Alonso.

The team won the European title in that first season but struggled in the second, leading to the Ancelotti’s firing.

Ancelotti also won two Champions League titles with AC Milan, and boasts success coaching clubs in all five top European leagues.


AP Sports Writer Steve Douglas contributed to this report.


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