Ancelotti meets Juanfran 14 years on from darkest hour

Ancelotti meets Juanfran 14 years on from darkest hour


Real Madrid get back to business in La Liga after the international competitions break facing Levante at Ciudad de Valencia. The hosts will recover defender Juanfran from injury, a player who brings bad memories for Carlo Ancelotti.

The Spanish left-back was present in one of Ancelotti’s toughest matches as a manager. It was back in March of 2000. At that time, Ancelotti was coaching Juventus and Juanfran was playing at Celta de Vigo.

That day, the ‘Vecchia Signora’ met the Spanish side in the last-16 round of the UEFA Cup. The Italians were confident ahead of their visit to Balaidos, since they had won the home leg 1-0. However, it was not a pleasant game for Juve.

In the first minute of play, Claude Makelele tied it with a quick goal, and the rest of the match was a nightmare for Ancelotti’s men. Celta thrashed Juventus 4-0, with the Italians down to nine men after Conte and Montero were sent off. Juanfran played the whole 90 minutes and was one of the men of the match, punishing Juve’s defence every time he joined the offensive.

After that night, Ancelotti was harshly criticised in Italy. He had one of his worst days as a manager when he faced Juanfran, but he might be able to take revenge on Saturday at Ciudad de Valencia stadium.