He has won more major European honours than every Ligue 1 club combined and now Carlo Ancelotti is excited at the prospect of "building something great" at ambitious Paris Saint-Germain FC.
Just the second Italian to coach in France after Francesco Guidolin's 2005/06 stint at AS Monaco, Ancelotti assumed the reins from Antoine Kombouaré on 30 December. While the 52-year-old spoke of his delight at "a new adventure", French football could look forward to welcoming a coach boasting a record rarely seen in Ligue 1.
Ancelotti has won the UEFA Champions League twice as a coach and as a player at AC Milan – among various other titles in Italy and England – and appeared relaxed seven months after leaving his last role in London. "My experience at Chelsea pleased me a lot, but at PSG we have an opportunity to build something great," he said. "
All the requirements are in place to benefit from my experience. This side has huge ambitions and I'm very enthused by this project."
Indeed, the acquisition of Ancelotti is a further indication of the new levels of expectation at PSG. There has been plenty of investment in new players from the club's owners since the summer, but Ancelotti's arrival marks a new step. The Qatari group that took a 70% stake in the capital side in June have long admired the history at Milan and Ancelotti will again work alongside former Rossoneri and PSG player Leonardo, now the club's sporting director.
"I'm very happy to link up with him," Ancelotti said. "He was among my proteges when he played under me. I think there is true friendship between us." The new man in the PSG hotseat has brought in physical trainer Giovanni Mauri, but said he would mainly rely on the existing technical staff. One of those is Claude Makelele, who ended his career at PSG last season. "He will be among my assistants," Ancelotti confirmed. "He was a great player who will help us with his huge experience."
Although out of Europe, PSG are three points clear in France and the former Italian international midfielder said there was no reason to change the system used by Kombouaré. "I arrive to lead a team which tops the league and performed well doing so. My view of the game will guide me towards an offensive style and to produce a dynamic, eye-catching and efficient team." A friendly meeting with Milan tonight apart, the first test of the Ancelotti era comes in the French Cup on Sunday against fifth-tier La Saint-Colomban de Locminé.
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