The case for ex-Chelsea boss as the modern game’s best

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Bayern Munich to win the Champions League

When the debate invariably rises in English pubs, Spanish restaurants or Italian cafes, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are usually the leading candidates for the title of modern football’s best manager.

However there is an argument that one man is perhaps unfairly overlooked in that discussion, and possibly even deserves to sit above his two counterparts in the pantheon of great tacticians.

Carlo Ancelotti has won plenty in his career, both as a player and in the dugout, and set a record in the first round of Champions League matches that Mourinho and Guardiola will take some time to surpass.

As the below tweet from Opta shows, the Italian now stands alone as having won the most matches in the competition with different teams:

Starting with Parma all the way back in 1997/98, the Italian has also secured victories with Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and now Bayern Munich after the Germans trounced Rostov 5-0.

He’s won the trophy three times, twice with the Rossoneri and once with Real Madrid to land Los Blancos their long-awaited decima.

Over the course of his stellar career, the 57-year-old has become noted for handling the biggest of footballing egos without trouble.

Some of the names he’s had to keep happy during his career could form it’s own Hall of Fame.

Gianluigi Buffon, Dino Baggio, Hernan Crespo and Fabio Cannavaro decorated his Parma squad. Paolo Maldini, Clarence Seedorf, Kaka and original Ronaldo were in Milan and his front three in Madrid was Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and modern Ronaldo.

Somehow, Ancelotti kept all of them happy while winning continuously at the highest level. He really is one of the best in the modern era.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.