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Carlo Ancelotti’s previous Champions League finals

Sports Mole

Ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, Sports Mole takes a look at Carlo Ancelotti’s previous finals as a manager in the competition.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti will create history when he leads his team out at the Stade de France for the 2021-22 Champions League final against Liverpool on Saturday night.

The 62-year-old has become the first manager in the competition’s history to reach the final on five occasions, with this weekend’s showdown in Paris his second in charge of Los Blancos.

Ancelotti, who also reached three finals with Serie A giants AC Milan, has won the Champions League three times during his 27-year managerial career, which can only be matched by Zinedine Zidane and former Liverpool boss Bob Paisley.

With Ancelotti vying to clinch a fourth Champions League trophy, Sports Mole takes a look at the Italian’s previous finals in the competition.


AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti embraces striker Filippo Inzaghi as the Champions League trophy is lifted on May 28, 2003© Reuters

After finishing third in Serie A and 11 points behind champions Juventus, AC Milan got their revenge in the 2002-03 Champions League final held at Old Trafford.

Ancelotti’s side had to battle their way to the showpiece event, firstly beating Slovan Liberec in the third qualifying round before finishing top of two separate group stages and then edging past both Ajax and city rivals Inter Milan in the knockout rounds.

Both sides showed their attacking intent throughout the 90 minutes but they were unable to break the deadlock, with Juve’s Antonio Conte coming closest with a diving header onto the crossbar. After 120 minutes, the two teams could still not be separated and the final was decided on penalties.

Five of the first seven spot kicks were saved, with efforts from Milan duo Clarence Seedorf and Kakha Kaladze kept out by Gianluigi Buffon, but Andriy Shevchenko tucked away the winning penalty to help Ancelotti’s side win 3-2 in the shootout and claim their sixth European crown by the finest of margins.


AC Milan's managerCarlo Ancelotti reacts as he passes the Champions League trophy after losing the final against Liverpool on May 25, 2005© Reuters

Ancelotti’s men were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the 2003-04 tournament, but managed to reach the final a year later, where they would face Liverpool at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.

Milan were seemingly on course to clinch a second Champions League crown in three seasons when goals from Hernan Crespo (2) and Paolo Maldini put the Italian giants 3-0 ahead at half time.

However, Liverpool produced one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history with three goals in six second-half minutes from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xavi Alonso restoring parity for the Reds, before they would go on to win 3-2 on penalties.

Shevchenko netted the winner at Old Trafford in 2003, but his effort from 12 yards this time around was the third of Milan’s spot kicks to be saved by Jerzy Dudek, condemning Ancelotti to his first and only loss to date in a Champions League final.


AC Milan's manager Carlo Ancelotti celebrates with the Champions League trophy after winning the final on May 23, 2007© Reuters

It would not take long for Ancelotti and co to gain their revenge, as they came out on top in the 2006-07 Champions League final held at the Olympic Stadium in Athens.

Ancelotti called upon his experienced players for the final and fielded the oldest-ever starting lineup in a Champions League final with the average age at 31 years and 34 days. At the ripe old age of 38 years and 331 days, club legend Paolo Maldini became the oldest outfield player to play in the final and he went on to become the oldest-ever player to lift the trophy – both of these records still stand.

Filippo Inzaghi scored a fortunate opener in first-half stoppage time, deflecting Andrea Pirlo‘s free-kick beyond Pepe Reina with his shoulder, but his second in the 82nd minute oozed class as a delightful pass from Kaka put the Italian through on goal, with the strike…

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