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I'm not a superstar, says Ancelotti
Published : 07 Jan 2012 17:16:47Rss feed
Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that he is "not a superstar", as he prepares to take charge of his first game with Paris Saint-Germain at minnows Saint-Colomban Locmine in the French Cup on Sunday.
With two Champions League winners medals, Ancelotti is the most decorated coach working in France and his reported annual salary of between six and seven million euros ($7.6m and $8.9m) makes him the best-paid coach in French football history.
He is also one of only three non-French coaches working in Ligue 1 -- alongside Sochaux's Bosnian coach Mehmed Bazdarevic and newly-appointed Evian manager Pablo Correa, who hails from Uruguay.
However, in his first encounter with French journalists since his appointment at the end of December, the 52-year-old Italian played down his unique status.
"I'm a coach, that's all," he said, in French, in a press conference on Saturday.
"I'm happy to be in France and in Ligue 1. I'd like to have a good relationship with the other coaches. I'm not a superstar. I love working, I love football. I want to do my best for PSG."
PSG lead Ligue 1 by three points ahead of the resumption of the season following the winter break and they are expected to encounter few problems against fifth-tier Locmine in Sunday's game, which will be played at Lorient's Stade du Moustoir.
Ancelotti's first game saw his side lose 1-0 to his former team AC Milan in a friendly in Dubai on Wednesday, but he was nonetheless enthused by what he saw.
"Tomorrow (Sunday) is my first official match. I want to see a good game, a team that is motivated and has personality, and I want to win," said Ancelotti.
"We have to improve on our last friendly match, even though it was a good game. I know Locmine more or less. I've watched one match, but it was on a poor-quality video."
Ancelotti's arrival has prompted a tide of speculation about which players might arrive at Parc des Princes during the January transfer window, with bids expected for his former Milan charges Kaka and Alexandre Pato.
He refused to comment on the rumours on Saturday, however, saying only that "we must be patient".
With so much speculation swirling around the club, some of PSG's players could be forgiven for asking questions about their own futures, but Ancelotti said he enjoyed good relations with the squad he had inherited.
"I've spoken (to them) and we have a good relationship," he said.
"There's a good atmosphere. The players are focused and motivated and training well. The first days at school, everyone is very focused. I hope it's the same at the end of the season."
Ancelotti's presence at PSG's Camp des Loges training centre has been felt already, with the players now expected to dine together at lunchtime while they are using the facility.
They have also been kitted out with GPS tracking equipment to monitor their performances in training -- a practice Ancelotti has brought with him from Chelsea.
"It's important to have data on training," he explained.
"You have to control the work-load in training. It helps the players to improve their performances and allows you to avoid injuries."
Ancelotti, who has a reputation for participating in changing room banter with his players, also lifted the lid on what his initiation ceremony had involved.
"I sang, in Dubai," he said. "I can't say what, even under torture. But I'm a good singer. I like singing."
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