Milan players in tears over Ancelotti exit

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The Independent Football

AC Milan general manager Adriano Galliani revealed several players were reduced to tears when they heard coach Carlo Ancelotti was leaving for Chelsea.

Ancelotti confirmed yesterday his contact at the San Siro had been terminated by mutual consent, ending an eight-year reign, and the Blues officially announced his appointment this morning.

The Italian broke the news to his team following the 2-0 win at Fiorentina which secured automatic qualification for next season's Champions League.

Emotions were already running high in Milan with veteran defender Paolo Maldini playing his final game for the club yesterday, and Galliani admitted Ancelotti's exit had been hard to take.

"My relationship with him has been more as a friend than as a manager and to see him on the Chelsea website holding a Chelsea shirt has left its mark on me," said Galliani.

"I am still in a bit of shock after yesterday with the emotion of the game and then in the dressing room.

"I spoke first and thanked him and Paolo Maldini and remembered these eight years and a lot of players were crying.

"Above all I can remember (Gennaro) Gattuso, who was the closest to me, and he had tears in his eyes.

"I only mention Gattuso because he was close to me, but others had tears in their eyes as well."

Former Milan player Leonardo has already been appointed as Ancelotti's replacement and Galliani continued: "I don't think there are any clubs who have ended their relationship with a coach and then, that same night, gone out for a meal together.

"Last night Carlo, Leonardo and I went out to eat together and we spoke about the Milan formation for the future. It was a really pleasant evening."

Leonardo revealed Ancelotti encouraged him to step into his shoes.

"Yesterday was an extraordinary day, to see all the players crying," he said.

"Carlo is the man who has pushed me the most to take on this challenge.

"I have had a very friendly relationship with Carlo all this time and he has not only wished me good luck and given me a lot of advice, but he has inspired me a lot."

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