Carlo Ancelotti says a strong relationship between the Club and its supporters is “one of the keys to success” – and it is a “great pleasure” to be part of Everton’s Blue Family campaign.
Everton and Everton in the Community launched Blue Family in the immediate wake of Premier League football being suspended last month following the coronavirus outbreak.
Manager Ancelotti made a personal call to Evertonian Mark, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year and is self-isolating as a precaution against coronavirus.
“It was a great pleasure to speak with Mark,” Ancelotti told evertonfc.com.
“He is a good guy and it was a nice conversation.
“I have always supported fans who are having a difficult time.
“It is important to have a close relationship with our supporters.
“They can help us create a good atmosphere in the stadium and having a good relationship with them is one of the keys to success.
“The reason I have this feeling [immediate connection with Everton] is I feel well here.
“I found a good club, a family club. I feel comfortable at Everton and with the people at the Club.
“This is why I feel good here straight away.”
Ancelotti is popularly recognised as one of football’s pre-eminent managers and was twice a Champions League winner as AC Milan boss before claiming the trophy in charge of Real Madrid.
The Italian has spent a large proportion of his 60 years immersed in the game, initially as a decorated player who represented his country 26 times, then as manager of some of Europe’s most illustrious clubs.
Now, though, he insists football is of secondary importance with the world confronted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Ancelotti was heartened, then, by Everton’s move to start Blue Family, which is designed to maintain contact with fans and provide vital support and assistance to some of the most vulnerable, socially isolated and at-risk members of the community of Liverpool and beyond.
And Ancelotti has been regularly talking to friends and family in his homeland, where coronavirus was tightening its grip weeks before forcing the UK into lockdown and has claimed more than 20,000 lives.
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“The priority for everyone – including people working in football – is the difficult situation for every person in the world,” said Ancelotti.
“The whole world is dealing with this virus and I hope we can find a solution quickly.
“Football remains a passion, of course.
“It is difficult because you cannot watch games.
“It is really unusual, it has never happened in my life that I was not able to watch football.
“I miss it – but you can survive.
“We know that sooner or later we will restart.”
Ancelotti continued: “Right now the situation in Italy is a bit better… they suffered a lot, we [Italy] did not have a lot of places in intensive care [at the beginning of the outbreak].
“I think for every one of us it is really important to understand what is going on.
“It is a really difficult moment and the only way we can approach it is to control our behaviour.
“It is very important to follow what the Government said: to stay home and to keep distance from people to avoid the expansion of this virus.
“In Italy, unfortunately in the beginning, they did not really know what was going on.
“I think the experience of what happened in Italy helped other countries learn and try to react better.”