Serene Ancelotti happy and lucky with fifth title
Lisbon: Victorious Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, his jacket dripping with champagne, said he felt like a very lucky man after his side beat cross town rivals Atletico Madrid 4-1 in the Champions League final on Saturday.
The urbane 54-year-old Italian was seconds away from losing the crown until Sergio Ramos headed home deep into five minutes of added time to equalise Diego Godin`s 37th-minute strike.
After explaining to reporters that his greatest joy in winning was the happiness it gave others, he was mobbed by a group of players who gate-crashed his press conference, singing and spraying him with champagne.
"I am lucky not just for this game," Ancelotti said after the dancing group returned to the changing rooms to continue their celebration. "I`ve felt a lot of trust given to me by the club."
Ancelotti added that he did not feel five minutes of time added on was too much because there were many stoppages at the start of the second half.
"You can say I was a lucky man but you can also say we never gave up and tried to do everything till the last second of the game," he said.
In contrast to his flamboyant, constantly gesticulating Argentine counterpart Diego Simeone, Ancelotti cut a serene figure on the touch line.
Coming into the Lisbon final he already had wealth of experience of the competition, with four Champions League victories under his belt, two as a player and two as a coach with AC Milan.
With his hands thrust deep in the pockets of his elegantly tailored suit, only the vigour of his gum-chewing gave away the tension as his side assaulted the Atletico goal in search of the equaliser as the minutes ticked away.
He said had told his players at halftime to up the tempo.
"At the end of the second half I said we should just continue what we were doing because we were really causing them problems," he said.
He was proved right with Real stampeding to a 10th European Cup by adding three goals in extra time through Gareth Bale, Marcelo and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, as Atletico wilted.
"The biggest problem we had was equalising. We had no spaces and Atletico defended very well...we found that equaliser and then the game changed completely because the goal we scored gave us new strength."
Ancelotti, who has completed only one season at Real Madrid after moving from Paris St German, congratulated what he called "a fantastic group of players".
"The season has been very long but we have won the most important competition in the world," he said, adding that after beating Bayern Munich in the semi-finals, their challenge for the Spanish title had fallen away.
The Italian added he had congratulated Simeone on the domestic title before Saturday`s game and felt sympathy for their Champions League defeat.
"You have to respect the team that doesn`t win but fights all the way," said Ancelotti, only the second coach to win the European Cup three times along with Liverpool`s former great manager Bob Paisley.
"They deserved to be in the final but in the end we deserved to win I think."