Carlo Ancelotti’s unique form of greatness fits this Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti deserved his cigar. He had just won the Spanish league title and became the first man ever to claim championships in what have widely been considered to be the five top European leagues. If his Real Madrid can overcome a 4–3 first-leg deficit at home to Manchester City on Wednesday and then beat Liverpool in Paris later this month, he will become the first coach ever to win four Champions League titles. These are remarkable achievements, and yet there is a sense that Ancelotti is regarded less as an elite manager than as a manager of elite players.

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