Andriy Shevchenko credits Carlo Ancelotti for inspiring him and others at Milan to become coaches and reveals ‘I learned many things from Jose Mourinho’.
While Shevchenko is currently Ukraine CT, Gennaro Gattuso recently won the Coppa Italia with Napoli, Cristian Brocchi has taken Monza into Serie B and Filippo Inzaghi will return Benevento to the top flight.
As well as all of them plus the likes of Clarence Seedorf, Massimo Oddo and Jaap Stam playing for Milan in the 2000s, they were also coached by Ancelotti.
“There’s a bunch of us,” the former Rossoneri striker told James Horncastle for The Athletic.
“Looking back at the great AC Milan side he played in, it’s remarkable how many of his team-mates have gone into coaching.
“I think everyone who worked under Carlo took something from him. [Playing under him was] a rite of passage.
“It tells you there was more to us than just great players. We had smart people too.”
The 43-year-old then explained how he wanted his teams to play, focusing on ‘possession football’ and ‘positive transitions’.
“At my first press conference I said, ‘Right, we’re going to change the way we play’. We used to counter-attack a lot.
“I wouldn’t say we were predictable but the structure of our play was totally different. We wanted to be more expansive and to have more control of the game through possession football, positive transitions.
“We wanted to be a team that creates lots of chances. Looking at our stats over the last three and a half years, the team has come on a lot in that regard.”
Sheva only played one full season under Mourinho, who later coached Milan’s arch-rivals Inter, but he still regards the Tottenham Hotspur boss as a big influence.
“I learned many things from Mourinho. The way he managed the team was very interesting.
“Jose always finds something out of nothing. This is his mentality. You must always believe. You can turn a game around in the last second.
“There are lots of examples of big games being decided at the end, like Manchester United against Bayern in 1999. Two minutes is all it takes.
“Great teams have this mentality. When you coach top players, they have to believe games can come down to the last 10 seconds.
“If you believe that, you can even win the Champions League in stoppage time. Look at Carlo’s Real Madrid.
“This is the beauty of football, but you need to build the right mentality.”
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