Carlo Ancelotti has left Everton to become head coach of Real Madrid for a second time.
The 61-year-old Italian, who managed Real Madrid for two years between 2013 and 2015, has left Everton after 18 months in charge at Goodison Park as he could not resist the temptation to return to Spain and coach the European giants.
He succeeds Zinedine Zidane at Real, which means Everton will now be searching for a sixth manager in five years!
Ancelotti has signed a three-year deal at Real and said the move represented “an unexpected opportunity”.
He added: “I have complete respect for everyone associated with Everton and hope they can achieve the exciting opportunities they have in front of them.
“While I have enjoyed being at Everton I have been presented with an unexpected opportunity which I believe is the right move for me and my family at this time.”
Real will present Ancelotti to the media on Wednesday, while Everton said they “will begin the process of appointing a new manager immediately”.
I would like to thank Everton FC, my players and the supporters for giving me the opportunity to manage this fantastic and historical club. I decided to leave as I have a new challenge with a team that was always in my heart, Real Madrid. pic.twitter.com/SDV8T7qMDR
— Carlo Ancelotti (@MrAncelotti) June 1, 2021
Everton will have been left stunned by the speed of developments in the last 24 hours as owner Farhad Moshiri’s “Hollywood” manager leaves.
Ancelotti’s arrival was regarded as a real coup by Moshiri, persuading one of the game’s most decorated and respected figures to come to Merseyside to restore Everton to former glories.
Ancelotti was held in huge regard by Everton supporters, who have been left bitterly disappointed by his decision to depart but doubt he can be faulted for this decision as no one would turn down Real Madrid unless they were already in a champion team.
The brutal truth is that for all Moshiri’s finance and ambition, Everton still cannot regard themselves as anywhere near the elite, which always makes them vulnerable to clubs such as Real Madrid setting sights on their prize assets.
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Could Rafa Benitez do the job at Everton? I know for a fact he would take it.
“Real Madrid were waiting for Mauricio Pochettino. Paris Saint-Germain triggered a renewal of his contract. So the only way for Pochettino to go to Real or Spurs is to publicly say ‘I’m leaving’. So that meant Real had to see what is out there.
“It’s a team that has players Ancelotti had in his time there. Florentino Perez decided to sack him having won the Champions League, he felt the team wasn’t working hard enough.
“Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos were asked about him and they said ‘keep him’. He got sacked, the relationship with Perez went sour earlier on and wasn’t great.
“But we reach a moment where Real Madrid need someone that can bring a happy face to the camp and exploit a mixture of youth and veteran figures.”
Ancelotti is one of just three managers to have won the European Cup on three occasions so it was always going to be hard for Everton to retain him if any of the bigger clubs came calling and Real Madrid has a special place in Ancelotti’s heart.