When Carlo Ancelotti tried to punish Zinedine Zidane for being late

2 Min Read
Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti remembered an instance when, while at Juventus, he attempted to discipline Zinedine Zidane, it quickly backfired.

Since taking up coaching as the Italian assistant manager in 1992, Ancelotti has enjoyed a dazzling managing career. He has won the Champions League four times since then.

Ancelotti, who managed eleven clubs during his career, from AC Milan to Everton, has a bit of a journeyman reputation despite being one of the greatest of all time.

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From 1999 to 2001, the Italian was under intense pressure at Juventus, managing Zinedine Zidane, who would later be his assistant at Real Madrid.

Ancelotti recently discussed a confrontation he had with the Frenchman when overseeing him at the Italian powerhouses in an article published by The Times.

The 64-year-old clarified that Ancelotti intended to leave “Zizou” behind since he was so persistently late to the squad van.

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Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane

“There was a time at Juventus when Zidane was late, and we were on the bus waiting to go,” Ancelotti explained.

“I said to the driver, ‘No more, let’s leave,’ but he was scared and wouldn’t move, and then [Juventus defender] Paolo Montero came down the bus to speak to me.”

After joining the Italian squad in 1996 from Bordeaux, Zidane became an icon, and it seems Ancelotti underestimated the value Zidane brought to his colleagues.

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Ancelotti continued: “I said to him, ‘Let’s get going, and then we’ll talk.’ But he said, ‘You don’t understand. Without Zizou, we’re going nowhere.’ So that’s when you think, ‘OK, I need to listen to this.’ So we waited.”

Before moving to Real Madrid in 2001, Zidane made 151 league appearances for Juventus and scored 24 goals.

Prior to Ancelotti’s arrival, Juventus had won back-to-back Scudetto titles with Zidane, so it’s not surprising that his teammates were willing to disagree with the manager this time.

By Shyam
Shyam Sharma who joined SPORTS BIG NEWS in 2021. Focuses on soccer – chiefly the Premier League, LaLiga, UEFA Champions League, Liga MX and MLS. On occasion, also covers American sports, general news and entertainment. Fascinated by the language of sport – particularly the under-appreciated art of translating cliché-speak.