Carlo Ancelotti has revealed how cultivating a family environment is a key element of his managerial style, as the Everton boss explained how he treats members of his squad “as people, not just football players”.
Ancelotti’s man-management skills have been revered throughout a glittering career which has seen him win 15 major trophies as a boss, including three Champions League titles.
The Italian – who counts AC Milan, Real Madrid, Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich among his former employers – has won praise from a host of football superstars for his personable nature and focus on players’ wellbeing.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who worked with Ancelotti at Madrid, said: “From the first time I met him, he made me feel very comfortable. You then see the way he works, the way he is as a person and you begin to understand why everyone speaks so highly of him.”
Former England captain David Beckham played under Ancelotti at Milan and PSG and described him as “an incredible manager and person who any player would love playing under”.
Ancelotti detailed how establishing strong relationships with his players and staff is central to his philosophy.
“I like to treat not only the players, but the all people who work with me at the Club, as a person,” he said.
“It’s funny, if you ask a player, ‘Who are you?’, They say, ‘I am a football player’. No, you are a man that plays football.
“If they ask me, I am a person but one who does the job of a manager.
“It is a little different, but it is a really important difference.
“You have to work with people, you have to treat the people as a person.”
Ancelotti’s tactical acumen is a further attribute which has been widely acclaimed during his managerial career.
His capacity to adjust systems and methods depending on opponents and the personnel at disposal is a quality frequently cited, with his flexibility perhaps best illustrated by the fact he has won domestic titles in four different countries – Italy, England, France and Germany.
During his time at Everton – which has seen the Blues take 17 points from his eight Premier League matches in charge - he has already shown his willingness to be flexible with his formation and tactical approach.
“I don’t want that my team has a really clear identity,” Ancelotti explained.
“If you have a really clear identity, then you can play football in only one way.
“You can play football in different ways. You can play football being aggressive, defensively, with an attacking style, with counter-attack.
“You cannot say one is good and one is not good. There is no one winning system.
“I think the winning system is to put the players on the pitch comfortable.
“Our work is to put a team that has a clear idea – not clear identity – on the pitch. The players that are going on the pitch, they have to know what they do.
“And, of course, the goal is to give happiness to the supporters. This is the ambition.”