The legendary Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti has won a breadth of titles across the Serie A, La Liga, and the Premier League. He’s also one of three managers to have won the UEFA Champions League three times. Here we highlight some of the best players to play underneath one of the elite coaches of all time.
Paolo Maldini – AC Milan
The legendary defender Paolo Maldini spent his entire 25-year career with AC Milan. The five-time Champions League winner captained the side 419 times, leading the team to seven league championships, five Italian Supercups, a National Cup, five European Supercups, and two Intercontinental cups, along with a 2nd place finish at the World Cup with the Italian side.
Andriy Shevchenko – AC Milan
The second highest goalscorer in AC Milan’s history, the Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko netted 175 goals over 8 seasons (296 games) and won the Ballon d’Or in 2004. While trophyless his first four years, he nonetheless won the Champions League in 2004 along with an Italian Super Cup. He had already won the Italian Cup and Serie A in 2003.
Kaka – AC Milan
Kaka played 6 years at the San Siro as an attacking midfielder, earning over 200 domestic league caps and notching nearly 100 goals. The 2007 Ballon d’Or winner was virtually unstoppable in his prime, where also won Champions League in 2007, along with an Italian Championship, Italian Super Cup, a UEFA Supercup.
Andrea Pirlo – AC Milan
The midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo served as the catalyst for the Red and Blacks during their two Champions League victories. A composed player, Pirlo made up for his lack of speed with his on-field intelligence, his ability to find space when dribbling, and his swift passing ability. He was also a free-kick master. Pirlo also won the league while at Juventus, along with 2 Italian Cups, Italian Supercup, and Supercup winner.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
Setting a record fee of 80 million pounds upon his transfer from Manchester United, the striker made a monumental impact on Los Blancos over a nine-year stretch. The Portuguese forward surpassed Raul, the previous number seven, with 450 goals of his own on 438 appearances, averaging over one per game. A four-time Champions League winner, a two-time Spanish league champ, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner as a member of Los Blancos, Ronaldo is one of the greatest to ever play the game. And Ancelotti had the honor to coach him.
Clarence Seedorf – AC Milan
The Dutch central-midfielder Clarence Seerdort earned over 300 caps in his decade-long career with the AC Milan side. A versatile and strong player with excellent stamina, he helped the side win Champions League, the Italian League, the Italian Super Cup, a UEFA Super Cup, and one Intercontinental Cup.
Gareth Bale – Real Madrid
The Welsh forward scored one of the most memorable goals in Champions League history — a bicycle kick which sealed the victory for Real Madrid against Liverpool in 2018. A four-time Champions League winner, he’s collected a Spanish league and cup trophy under Ancelotti as well. With already 73 goals in 132 appearances for Los Blancos and the spotlight on him given the departure of Ronaldo, it’s Bale’s time to shine.
Zinedine Zidane – Juventus
The talisman, Zinedine Zidane sparkled in his five years in Turin winning the Scudetto in his first two years with the club. He earned the Ballon d’Or in 1998 and was named the Serie A Footballer of the year twice. Perhaps the greatest ever, he dazzled fans with his majestic play and legendary vision. Strangely enough, Ancelloti went trophyless at Juventus before heading over to AC Milan for a 21st-century trophy haul.
Marcelo – Real Madrid
Known for his exquisite first touch, the Brazilian left-back has spent the past 11 seasons at the Bernabeu. A four-time Champions League winner and La Liga champion, he’s also won two Copa Del Rey as well as a World Cup. He won a Champions League and Spanish Cup under Ancelloti.
Didier Drogba – Chelsea
Undoubtedly one of the greatest players in Blues’ history, Didier Drogba scored 157 goals in 341 appearances for The Blues. In 2010, Ancelotti won the double when he led Chelsea to its third FA Cup victory in four years. The Blue beat Portsmouth 1-0 off a Didier Drogba free-kick in the 58th minute.He also helped Chelsea equalize in the 2012 Champions League final before scoring the winning penalty against Bayern Munich. The Ivorian scored consistently in the biggest competitions, 36 goals in European competition and a goal in four FA Cup finals. The twice Premier League Golden Boot also won three League Cups.
John Terry – Chelsea
John Terry is still the only player to captain a team in the Premier League to five titles. Known as ‘Captain Fantastic,’ the defender spent over 19 years at Chelsea, amounting to 500 appearance with the club. He was also known to take copius notes while playing under Jose Mourinho. Terry capped off a storied career with a Champions League victory in 2012. He also earned four FA Cups and three league cups.
Frank Lampard – Chelsea
“Super Frankie Lampard,” as came to be known among the Chelsea faithful, is still the only midfielder to score 150 or more goals in the Premier League. The goal-scoring legend also had a knack for setting up his teammates, registering 102 assists in his 13 years at Chelsea. The 3-time Chelsea player of the season and Champions League winner once finished runner-up to Ronaldinho to Ballon d’Or in 2005.