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Sunday, December 04, 2022

Style clash: Klopp, Ancelotti take different path to the top

A chest-beating, arm-waving, emotionally driven leader whose high-energy team style is in his own image.

The other is adamant, indomitable, so awestruck that he appears almost nonchalant, transmitting peace around him with his see-it-all approach.

In some ways, Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti are polar opposites as soccer coaches. What unites them is their ability to use their unique style to win the biggest trophies in the game.

It’s another reason why Saturday’s Champions League final between Klopp’s Liverpool and Ancelotti’s Real Madrid is so interesting. Simply put, no club would want to be led by someone else in the biggest match of club soccer.

Klopp appears to have been made manager of Liverpool. He is modern-day Bill Shankley, the club’s legendary coach and man of the late 1960s and early ’70s, who led the Reds on their way to Europe’s giants.

Liverpool love Klopp and Klopp loves Liverpool so much, so he recently signed a new contract keeping him at Anfield until 2026, which will take him a decade ahead at the club. No manager has been in Liverpool for so long… Shanky.

Klopp is no “ordinary one” – a tag he gave in his presentation as Liverpool manager in October 2015 in reference to Jose Mourinho’s self-proclaimed “special one” description. He won the Champions League in 2019, ending a 30-year wait for Liverpool’s trophy in the English Premier League in 2020, which used to be at Anfield, and has just led what would be the greatest in its history. As the season can go down.

League Cup winners, FA Cup winners, Premier League runners-up – by one point – after losing just two games, and potential Champions League winners. No previous English team had ever come so close to a quadruple.

Klopp’s appearance has changed – he no longer wears glasses after eye surgery in the summer of 2021 and his teeth were whitened in late 2017 – but his heart-felt passion and determination from his early days in management remained Has happened. Fans of Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, the teams he coached in Germany, can vouch for it.

After every win, Klopp strolls the field, leads Liverpool’s supporters, and delivers a now-trademark barrage of fist pumps that is met with guttural roar from the stands in response.

This is something Ancelotti would never do.

Nothing beats the 62-year-old Italian more than his reaction to a match-cleaning goal scored in extra time, when Everton, the Blue Half team at Merseyside, which Ancelotti had been managing last season, defeated Tottenham. defeated 5-4. FA Cup in February 2021.

While Everton fans, players and coaching staff lost their minds inside a rocking Goodison Park, Ancelotti simply spilled his cup of tea and turned to return to his seat in the dugout.

“Football is the most important of the low-key things in the world,” Ancelotti once said, and that certainly gives off the reckless aura of someone determined not to succumb to the pressure of high-end football management.

He is such an elite – his previous clubs include Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as the first time at Madrid – that he could become the first manager since 2003 to win the European Cup four times. , ’07 (both Milan) and ’14 (Madrid). He is on three with Bob Paisley (all with Liverpool) and Zinedine Zidane (all with Madrid).

Ancelotti has re-established his reputation as one of the world’s top coaches this season, becoming the first player to win titles in five of Europe’s major leagues, while leading Madrid to PSG, Chelsea and then Manchester City. In the Champions League knockout carried over by a trio of heavyweights. Stages of reaching the finals.

All done, it seems, with a shrug and lots of vibes. He has mastered the art of creating the right environment for superstars to shine in, without ever being dogmatic about any football principles or a certain style of play.

Ancelotti just goes with the flow, adapting to the circumstances. Cristiano Ronaldo said of the Italian when the two were in Madrid: “The first time I met him, he made me feel very comfortable.”

Klopp, in his own way, is the same. He has become a strategist over the years, adding an element of control to Liverpool’s game to curb their infamous “heavy metal football”.

Deep down, both Klopp and Ancelotti are kind, “people” people, and only absolute winners.

And so they are once again in the final of the Champions League, Ancelotti for a record fifth time and Klopp for the fourth time in nine years.

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More Associated Press Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Steve Douglas https://twitter.com/sdouglas80 . are on

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