Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti’s ability to build relationships with his players sets him apart from most other coaches in the game, according to Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Veratti.
The Italian boss – who won the UEFA Champions League in his first season at the Santiago Bernabeu – has come under scrutiny this season, with his side trailing to Barcelona at the top of the Spanish La Liga, already out of the Spanish Copa del Rey, and facing a tough test to defend their Champions league title with city rivals Atletico Madrid playing out a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the competition’s quarter-final.
Veratti was brought to PSG from Pescara during Ancelotti’s reign in the France and won the French Ligue 1 title under him during his debut season at the French capital club.
The 22-year-old feels few coaches can match the popular former Chelsea and Milan boss because of the special bond he builds with his players.
“Ancelotti immediately understood me and put me in the right situation to adapt quickly,” he told L’Equipe.
“I was 18 and, at that age, it is difficult. He helped me a lot off the field, too. He advised me on how to behave. You can say he was a father to me in the footballing world.”
“He is a good person, someone who has a great relationship with all of his players.”
“Often, when a player loses his starting place, he is a little left out. Ancelotti spoke to everyone as a person, not just in a coach-to-player way. That doesn’t happen often in football.”
Veratti was suspended for PSG’s 3-1 Champions League defeat to Barcelona in the first leg of their quarter-final and the Italian midfielder acknowledged it is a tough task to win the competition, even if the last-16 victory over Chelsea gave the squad a boost.
He continued: “A qualification like that [against Chelsea] gives us confidence. It reinforces our belief that we can be one of the biggest in Europe.
“It is one of the club’s goals, but it is difficult to win the Champions League.”