Steven Gerrard is the one that got away for legendary manager Carlo Ancelotti…
The former AC Milan boss, who’s taking over from Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich this summer, said he attempted to capture our brilliant ex-captain, but was rebuffed by club and player.
Ancelotti managed Milan between 2001 and 2009, and built one of the great European sides in the process – one which included Nesta, Paolo Maldini, Cafu, Andrea Pirlo, Kaka, Clarence Seedorf and Andriy Shevchenko. But regardless of the stellar names at his disposal, he couldn’t get his hands on the Liverpool skipper.
“I tried to sign Steven Gerrard from Liverpool but it just wasn’t possible,” he admitted, when asked to name the one player he most wanted to buy but couldn’t.
It’s no wonder Ancelotti was impressed by Gerrard having watched the Englishman put in one of all the time great performances in the 2005 Champions League Final between the two sides.
Gerrard scored a goal that night and dragged us back into contention through heroic desire, but despite interest from all of Europe’s biggest clubs – Gerrard eventually stayed with us until summer 2015 – when he left for LA Galaxy.
“I look back at this quite often,” Ancelotti continued. “But I don’t think there is anything I could have done differently. It was all about six minutes. We played for 114 minutes, Liverpool played for six minutes. That’s the truth of it.”
“It was a very strange game. You know, i took this Milan team to three Champions league finals, and 2005 was actually the best we played – but it was the only one we lost!”
Ancelotti could become the first manager to win four European Cups if he achieves the feat with Bayern, and with the Germans having already strengthened their already jaw-dropping squad with Mats Hummels and Renato Sanches, it’s a possibility.
Still, he hasn’t got anyone as good as Gerrard was in his prime!