By Waddah Hassani
“I hope to remembered here for a long time, hopefully not just for La Decima.” Carlo Ancelotti
When Carlo Ancelotti first arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu, he promised wins and beautiful football, and he has certainly delivered on both fronts.
Since he was appointed, Real Madrid have played 82 matches in all competitions, winning 64, making him the manager with the highest win percentage in the history of the club (78%).
Los Blancos have also scored 227 goals in those 82 matches at a rate of 2.77 goals per match, again the highest rate in the history of the club (of all managers with 30+ games).
And if that wasn’t enough, the Spanish capital city side have only conceded 66 goals in the Italian’s tenure at a rate of 0.80 goals conceded per game, yet again the best rate in the club’s history.
So with all of these stats, it enough to call Ancelotti one of the all-time greatest Real Madrid managers?
Probably, because these are not the only things he has accomplished in his short time with Madrid.
On top of all the records mentioned, he was also the manager that ended Real Madrid’s wait for the coveted and long sought-after La Decima.
Florentino Perez spent over a billion euros in a dozen years as he longed for his dream of seeing the tenth European Cup in the Bernabeu, yet the former Chelsea boss ended his wait in his first season with the club.
Ancelotti didn’t just win La Decima, he did it in style.
In arguably one of the most dominant campaigns in the competition’s history, Real Madrid steamrolled teams in last season’s Champions League and scored 41 goals in the process. Those 41 goals were an all-time record; breaking the previous tally of 35 goals by Barcelona.
Real Madrid also equaled the group stage record for most goals with 20, and the record for most goals scored in a UCL final with four.
All of these show that Real Madrid probably did have the most complete campaigns in Champions League history.
Adding on to it was the Copa del Rey triumph, beating Barcelona in the final. Ancelotti brought the first Copa del Rey trophy to the Bernabeu since 2011; it was also the first time that Real Madrid won more than one title in a single season since 2002/03.
Needless to say, starting this season with big hopes was not an uncommon thing, and Ancelotti did not disappoint with a UEFA Super Cup win in August.
Real Madrid currently boast the strongest attack in Europe and lead the La Liga table on top of being the only team to have won all five matches in Europe’s top tournament this season.
They currently need two wins to equal the longest winning streak in the Champions League, two home wins to equal the longest home winning streak in the European competition, and finally two away wins to equal the longest away winning streak in the Champions League.
All of these ‘near-records’ show how close Ancelotti is from breaking several long standing records with a Real Madrid team that is currently ranked as the best in the world and probably the best Madrid side in recent memory.
If all of that wasn’t enough, Ancelotti became the first manager in the club’s history to win 16 consecutive matches in all competitions. He has passed the 15-match winning run accomplished by Jose Mourinho and Miguel Munez, and needs just two more wins to equal the all-time record for most consecutive wins in Spain’s top-flight history (18, set by Barcelona).
Ancelotti also stands on the cusps of another feat, which is to be the quickest coach to get to 100 wins, currently held by Mourinho, who needed 133 games to achieve that record.
However, with Ancelotti at 64 wins from 82 matches already, it’s very hard not to see him take that record away from Mourinho as well.
So all of these stats, records, and accomplishments make Carlo Ancelotti without a doubt, one of the best Real Madrid managers in recent memory, but is he an ‘all-time’ great?
That might be more arguable, but with his and the club’s willingness in extending his contract to 2017 or 2018, it is extremely difficult not to see him as one of, if not the best, managers in the club’s history once his tenure ends at Real Madrid.