Former AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has been appointed Chelsea manager on a three-year deal.The 49-year-old Italian left the Rossoneri on Sunday after guiding them to a third-place finish in Serie A.
He will officially take over on 1 July and replaces Russia coach Guus Hiddink, who ended his stint as Blues manager with an FA Cup triumph on Saturday.
"Carlo was the outstanding candidate for the job," read a statement on the Chelsea website.
"He has proved over a long period his ability to build teams that challenged for, and have been successful in, major domestic and European competitions.
"He also had a highly successful playing career in those competitions and therefore brings unparalleled all round experience to the job."
Ancelotti, whose English is limited, spent eight seasons at Milan and becomes the club's fifth manager in 21 months following Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Hiddink.
Ancelotti released an autobiography last week in which he described a meeting with Roman Abramovich following the sacking of Grant, with the Chelsea owner telling Ancelotti he wanted a team with more "personality".
Since agreeing to the switch, Ancelotti has revealed the attraction of the Premier League was behind his decision.
"I would like to thank the Milan team, the Milan company, players and Milan fans. I had eight very good years there, and five years as a player, but now I think is the right moment for a new challenge and I want to put all my energy into Chelsea," he told Chelsea TV.
"Now it is time to change and I think Chelsea was a great opportunity and a great team to do a new experience.
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"I like the Premier League because there are great teams and they play good football. Now there are more tactical matches and very speedy, I like this football. The teams think to defend well and afterwards to attack. I watch Chelsea, I watch Liverpool I watch Manchester United, I know very well English football."
Although he gave what is believed to be his first full interview in English to announce his arrival at Chelsea, Ancelotti conceded it would be hard to grasp the language immediately - something that former Blues manager Scolari was criticised for.
He stated: "For me, it is not easy. I want to learn, I want to improve and when we start the new season I want to speak well because it is important to speak with the players, the team, the assistant and the people who will work with me.
"I believe in teamwork. It is the most important thing to create a group that work together to build a dream. The players must have a strong organisation and strong discipline and strong motivation. I hope to do this the right way to arrive at success."
During his time at Milan, Ancelotti twice won the Champions League, in 2003 and 2007, as well as the Serie A title in 2004 and believes he is the man to deliver Chelsea their elusive first Champions League title.
"For me, the Champions League is a beautiful sensation because when I played I won two times in 1989 and 1990 and it was a fantastic achievement," he enthused. "And it was the same as a coach in 2003 and 2007. Champions League, for me, is the best competition in the world and all teams want to win it.
"Five semi-finals in six years is a beautiful score but now we need to win."
With key players such as Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack and Nicolas Anelka in their thirties, former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin believes Ancelotti will have to oversee a period of transition.
Ancelotti beat Liverpool to clinch the Champions League in 2007"His English is good. I don't think he will have a problem with the language," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"But he may well have other problems. Over the next period of time he will be a coach trying to build a dynasty at Chelsea. This is what they have tried to do all the way through and they have not been able to do so.
"Then he will have to change and adapt that team as he goes along. They are still a great team as Guus Hiddink has shown that they can be. However, they are not getting any younger. A number of players will need to be replaced in the next two, three or four years. So Ancelotti will be expected to adapt. And in the meantime keep winning things. It's not going to be easy.
"He's capable of doing it but has a lot to live up to. Hiddink was fantastic and Jose Mourinho still casts a shadow over the club. Anytime he trips up at all he will be caught out.
"With Milan it's the kind of football we all like to watch generally. I would suggest that if he can get a team playing as Milan did at their very best it will be a joy to watch, if not necessarily as open as Barcelona."
A 2-1 victory over Everton at Wembley last weekend delivered the Blues' only silverware of the season, as they finished third in the Premier League and were knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals.
Ancelotti also coached Italian sides Reggiana, Parma and Juventus as well as having a successful playing career, winning two league titles and two European Cups with Milan.
However the side were absent from this season's Champions League after a disappointing fifth-place finish in the previous year's Serie A.
An underwhelming Uefa Cup campaign, which featured a 2-2 draw with Portsmouth, ended with defeat by eventual finalists Werder Bremen in the round of 32.
AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi, who criticised Ancelotti's tactics in May, had previously suggested that former Netherlands coach Marco Van Basten could succeed him, but Leonardo was confirmed in the role earlier on Monday.
The former Brazil international will rebuild without the services of veteran defender Paolo Maldini, who retired after Sunday's 2-0 win over Fiorentina - an emotional day for the seven-times European champions.
"My relationship with Ancelotti has been more as a friend than as a manager and to see him on the Chelsea website holding a Chelsea shirt has left its mark on me," said Milan general manager Adriano Galliani.
"I am still in a bit of shock after yesterday, with the emotion of the game and then in the dressing room. I spoke first and thanked him and Maldini and remembered these eight years and a lot of players were crying.
"Above all I can remember Gennaro Gattuso, who was the closest to me, and he had tears in his eyes."
Former Rangers midfielder Gattuso played the final ten minutes
of the win as fellow substitute Alexander Pato added toBrazilian forward Kaka's strike to confirm their place in the group stages of next season's Champions League.