On Tuesday, May 9, 2023, the first semifinal of the UEFA Champions League 2022-2023 will be played at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola may hold opposing philosophical views, but they are both regarded as two of the most influential managers in the history of the sport.
Ancelotti and Guardiola, both stellar midfielders in their playing days, won the Champions League at the turn of the century, and both have gone on to master the competition as managers.
Guardiola's two victories, on the other hand, pale in comparison to Ancelotti's four. The astute Italian became the most successful manager in Champions League history after guiding Real Madrid to continental glory in 2022.
The mutual respect between the two great thinkers is palpable, with their meetings as managers demonstrating how the pendulum can swing one way and then the other.
The first meeting between the two managers occurred after Pep did a good job of avoiding Ancelotti at the start of his managerial career, guiding Barcelona to two Champions League titles in 2009 and 2011.
The Spaniard first met Ancelotti after joining Bayern Munich, who faced Don Carlo's Real Madrid in the 2013/14 Champions League semi-finals.
Pep's bravery aided Ancelotti, and Real Madrid ran riot at the Allianz to inflict the biggest defeat of Guardiola's managerial career after winning 1-0 at home thanks to a goal from Karim Benzema.
After two seasons with Everton in the English Premier League, Ancelotti returned to Los Blancos in 2022 as a manager tasked with maximising the squad's potential, as they had not won the Champions League in four seasons.
Real Madrid defeated PSG and Chelsea in dramatic fashion to advance to the semi-finals against Pep Guardiola's City, where Ancelotti's stoicism paid dividends. Real Madrid advanced to the final and eventually won the trophy after a two-legged semifinal tie.
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