Carlo Ancelotti completes title Grand Slam


Carlo Ancelotti has become the first manager to win the title in all five of Europe’s leading leagues. He completed the so-called Grand Slam when Real Madrid beat Espanyol 4-0 on Saturday to wrap up La Liga with four games to spare.

He won Serie A with AC Milan, Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain, the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich, and the English Premier League with Chelsea.

Real went into the match needing only a point for their 25th title. Two first-half goals from Rodrygo put them in control of proceedings. Two more after the break, including one from the prolific Karim Benzema, put the issue beyond doubt, and the celebrations could begin.

It fully justified president Florentino Pérez’s decision to bring Ancelotti back to the club after the departure of Zinedine Zidane 18 months ago. Ancelotti was first appointed by Pérez in 2013 following the departure of Jose Mourinho. In his first season with them, he won the Champions League. However, after failing to match those achievements in his second season, he was let go.

Despite that, when Real came calling again last June, Ancelotti immediately left his job with Everton to return to Spain, and must be doubly glad that he did now. Not only because Real have helped him complete a unique haul of titles, but because the side he left look likely to be relegated.

Burnley scored twice in the last seven minutes against Watford as Real were beating Espanyol, opening up a five-point gap to the Merseysiders at the bottom. The Goodison Park club have games in hand, but have a difficult run-in. At this point of the season, points on the board are far more important.

Everton fans must be wondering what would have happened had he strayed at the club. It is difficult to envisage that they would find themselves in this situation had he remained at the helm.

And Ancelotti’s season could yet get better. His team have the second leg of the Champions League semi-final to come against Manchester City on Wednesday, and need to only turn around a one goal deficit.