PARIS, May 29 — Carlo Ancelotti typically played down becoming the first manager to win four European Cups after Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 in Paris on Saturday saying luck had a part to play before acknowledging “I am a record man”.
Ancelotti now stands alone as the only manager to win four Champions League titles, surpassing Bob Paisley’s three with Liverpool and Zinedine Zidane’s hat-trick as Madrid boss between 2016 and 2018.
A 59th minute goal by Vinicius Junior secured Real their record-extending 14th European Cup “I am a record man,” the 62-year-old Italian told BT Sport.
“I had luck to come here last year and have a fantastic season. A fantastic club, a really good squad with a lot of quality and mental character.
“The season was top.” Ancelotti had described the change from leaving Liverpool’s city rivals Everton last year to be back on the biggest stage in world football 12 months later as “vertigo” on the eve of the game.
Typically unflappable even in the moment of victory he kept his feet on the ground as his players hugged as winners usually do.
“I can’t believe it,” said Ancelotti.
“We had a fantastic season.
“We did really well. It was a difficult game and we suffered a lot, more so in the first half.
“In the end I think we deserved to win this competition.
“We’re really happy. What can I say? I can’t say more.” Ancelotti’s side had made it through to the final thanks to stirring fightbacks at the Santiago Bernabeu to see off the petrodollars of Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Ancelotti never the dictatorial type had even consulted his players as to who to send on in the dying stages of the City clash and it had paid off handsomely.
“I think we passed through really difficult games,” said Ancelotti.
“The supporters helped us a lot in the last game. They helped us tonight. We’re happy and they’re happy.” He adds Saturday’s victory to those with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007 as well as Real Madrid in 2014.
Real Madrid defender Ferland Mendy told Canal Plus that he had realised “a kid’s dream”.
He said: “It seems like it was written in the script for us to win. It is true we managed to get out of some tight scrapes. Even me I do not know how to explain them.” — AFP