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Champions League Final: Ancelotti Vs Liverpool, There’s Always Athens After Istanbul

KOMPAS.com – The Champions League final on May 28 against Liverpool has a special meaning for Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti. After Istanbul there is always Athens.

Real Madrid tactician Carlo Ancelotti set a record by successfully leading his team to the 2021-2022 Champions League final. He is the coach who most often led the team to reach the Champions League final.

Liverpool vs Real Madrid match in the 2021-2022 Champions League final at the Stade de France, France, Sunday (29/5/2022) early morning WIB, became Ancelotti’s fifth involvement as coach in the top party.

Previously, Ancelotti reached the 2003 edition of the Champions League final (with AC Milan, 2005 (AC Milan), 2007 (AC Milan), and 2014 (Real Madrid).

In the four finals, Ancelotti successfully lifted the Champions League trophy on three occasions, namely 2003, 2007 and 2014.

This means that the coach who is familiarly called Carletto only failed once, in 2005 to be exact.

Also read: Real Madrid to the Champions League Final: Ancelotti in Between History and Hockey That Didn’t Happen 3 Times

It is noteworthy, Liverpool is a giver of suffering for Ancelotti in the 2005 Champions League final which took place at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul.

Ancelotti’s Milan lost tragically 2-3 on penalties to Liverpool after sharing the score 3-3 in a 120-minute duel.

In fact, Ancelotti’s Milan closed the first half with a 3-0 advantage! Liverpool’s victory in the 2005 Champions League final has been cited as one of the… comeback aka the most epic revival in the history of football.

But, on the other hand, for Milan and Ancelotti, Istanbul is a tragedy. The pain of defeat was hard to forget and made an impression on Ancelotti.

Ancelotti, who is familiarly called Carletto, then harbored an obsession for revenge against Liverpool. To the extent, he became a Liverpool supporter!

Also read: Champions League Final, Mo Salah Accused of Underestimating Real Madrid through His Words

Ancelotti’s hopes to meet Liverpool again in the Champions League final were realized in the 2007 edition. The top party at that time was staged in Athens, Greece.

“Everything went according to plan, a plan built by fate, not me.”

“I was wondering, following the news, following their development (Liverpool). Viva the Reds,” said Ancelotti in the biography “Carlo Ancelotti: The Beautiful Game of an Ordinary Genius”.

While trying to lead AC Milan to achieve the best results, Ancelotti closely followed Liverpool’s progress in the 2016-2017 Champions League and continued to support them to get to the final.

On the day Liverpool played the semi-final against Chelsea, Ancelotti and his team in Milan even held a viewing together to support the Reds.

“That night, our gym, temporarily ceased to exist, replaced with seats.”

“The cup at Anfield goes to Carnago, in the province of Varese, the heart and soul of the Rossoneri. The party takes place here, at our meeting place, with ‘bloodthirsty’ fans crouching in front of the television.”

Also read: Champions League Final: How Much Prize Money for the Champions?

“You’ll Never Walk Alone, Liverpool. There we were, Milanisti wrapped in a red scarf,” said Ancelotti, telling his happiness and joy for seeing Liverpool get rid of Chelsea.

The revans moment that Ancelotti had been waiting for was realized in Athens, Greece, 23 May 2007.

Carletto led Milan to a 2-1 win over Liverpool in the 2007 Champions League final via Filippo Inzaghi’s brace.

Since then, the iconic wise saying has emerged among AC Milan fans, to emphasize that there is always hope in the midst of the deepest adversity.

“After Istanbul, there’s always Athens.”

The adage was also used by AC Milan’s official social media account to spread a message of encouragement during the early period of the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the world.

These words of wisdom will clearly accompany Ancelotti’s steps to lead Real Madrid against Liverpool in the 2022 Champions League final.

Ancelotti knew that Real Madrid had lost 0-1 in the 1981 Champions League final to Liverpool. The final was staged at the Parc des Princes, Paris, France.

“It can be revans for us too,” said Ancelotti ahead of the 2022 Champions League final duel versus Liverpool at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France.

Ancelotti would want to repeat his revans story with Milan and perhaps give rise to a new saying among Madrid fans “After Paris, there is always Saint-Denis”.

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