Ancelotti has not lost his golden touch, insist Milan as Chelsea unveil their new boss
02 June 2009 08:52
AC Milan general manager Adriano Galliani has hailed Carlo Ancelotti after Chelsea unveiled him as their new manager.
Ancelotti ended an eight-year spell in charge at the San Siro on Sunday and was yesterday named as Guus Hiddink's successor at Stamford Bridge.
Milan failed to win a trophy in the last 18 months of Ancelotti's tenure - a record which effectively heralded the end of his time at the helm - but Galliani dismissed the notion that the new Chelsea coach has lost his winning touch.
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'I prefer to look at things in terms of football seasons and not calendar years and last season, we won the European Super Cup and the Club World Cup,' he said.
'That is something no other Italian club can do, considering that no other Italian club is capable of winning the Champions League, which means they cannot win these cups either.'
Milan finished third in Serie A this season and crashed out of the UEFA Cup in the first knockout round to eventual finalists Werder Bremen, while their Coppa Italia challenge ended at the first hurdle against Lazio.
Praise: Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani
But Galliani said: 'This year we have achieved the aim we set ourselves and I maintain that, without the injuries we had, we would have challenged for the Scudetto. We have finished in a share of second place and if Carlo had not been here, with the injuries we had, it could have been even worse.'
Galliani revealed he was aware of a pre-contractual agreement between Ancelotti and Chelsea, but insisted he could still have convinced him to stay on until the end of his contract next year.
'He told me about it the day he signed, but it remained dependent on him being allowed to leave Milan,' he revealed. 'We could have said to him that he had to stay, but we evaluated everything and thought that it is maybe better for Carlo, the club and for everybody like this.
'We did not publicise it back then because we had an agreement that we would wait until after the final game of the season. Now we have moved on.'
Galliani was adamant money had nothing to do with Ancelotti's desire to leave. 'Carlo never asked us for a contract extension and he never asked for a pay rise,' he said. 'He never asked us for anything. Every decision which was made was taken in total concordance with the club.
'Carlo came to this club when we were in the UEFA Cup and we got to the semi-finals in his first year and earned access to the Champions League. He won that at the first attempt and Carlo now leaves this team having once again qualified for the group stages of the Champions League.
'These have been eight fantastic years and I hope he can go on to have eight more beautiful years at Chelsea.'