Vierchowod On Ex-Teammate Ancelotti: 'Who Wouldn't Like Him?'

In Knowing Carlo - an Official Everton Podcast series - we seek to discover what has driven our serial-winner manager during a trophy-laden football career spanning six decades.

Pietro Vierchowod was a teammate of former midfielder Ancelotti during a Serie A-winning season with AS Roma and at two World Cups for the Italian national side.

Get insight into Carlo Ancelotti the player, the manager and the person from a host of high-profile ex-colleagues - including Vierchowod - by downloading Knowing Carlo now. 

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Carlo Ancelotti’s unflustered and clear-headed management style is influenced by mentor figures Nils Liedholm and Arrigo Sacchi.

That is the view of Ancelotti’s former Roma and Italy teammate Pietro Vierchowod, who spoke to The Official Everton Podcast for the Knowing Carlo series of programmes exploring the decorated manager’s career.

Vierchowod and Ancelotti were colleagues in Roma’s 1982/83 Serie A-winning team and went to the World Cups in 1986 and 1990 with their country.


Swedish boss Liedholm was in charge of Roma when Ancelotti confounded doubters to recover from a serious knee injury and have a prominent role in the club’s championship season.

At the other end of Ancelotti’s playing career, he had domestic and European success under Sacchi at AC Milan before working as his ex-manager’s assistant with Italy at the 1994 World Cup.

“One of the things Carlo learned from Liedholm was his approach to the players,” said Vierchowod.

“Liedholm never lost his temper, never an angry word, he chose the right words, so you knew exactly what you should be doing.

“And, if you didn’t do what you should be doing, you’d pay the price.

“I think that is something Carlo has learned.


“He doesn’t raise his voice or get angry about anything, but people know what he wants, and he makes that clear.

“In all the time I played with him, I never saw him get angry or really upset or go off the rails, so that [composure] is a natural part of his character, too.

“I am not surprised by his success [as a manager], he finished very early as a player and became Sacchi’s assistant almost immediately.

“He learned his trade under Saachi and was able to go out and apply his experience.”

Vierchowod spent the majority of his career with Sampdoria, where he added another Serie A title and claimed four domestic cups and one European Cup Winners’ Cup.

He was a Champions League winner with Juventus in 1996 and part of Italy’s World Cup winning squad 14 years earlier.

Centre-half Vierchowod (pictured playing at the 1986 Mexican World Cup) won the first of his 45 international caps in the game when Ancelotti made his Italy debut, against Holland in January 1981. The now Everton boss scored in a 1-1 draw.

The two men – who first played together for a Serie C representative side in the late 1970s – last shared a pitch in a third-place play-off win over England at Italy’s home World Cup in 1990.

Vierchowod tells Knowing Carlo why manager Azeglio Vicini could have altered the course of history by making different choices in a semi-final defeat by Argentina, which the defender and Ancelotti watched from the bench.

The 61-year-old, who coaches in AC Milan academy camps, insists Ancelotti is universally popular in his homeland – “Who wouldn’t like him?” – and revisits his old teammate’s triumphant return to fitness nearly 40 years ago.

“He made a huge contribution [to Roma’s title success],” added Vierchowod.

“The previous year Juventus edged out Roma and he’d picked up a really bad injury.

“No-one knew if he’d be able to come back. But to come back the way he did and play a wonderful season had a huge influence on the team.”

Listen to the full interview with Pietro Vierchowod by downloading Knowing Carlo now.

Other episodes – available here – feature Michael Ballack, Michael Essien, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Paul Clement, Xabi Alonso, Kakha Kaladze and Pietro Strada, a member of Ancelotti's teams at Reggiana and Parma.

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