Ancelotti eyes Champions League success

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The Independent Online

Carlo Ancelotti is determined to end Chelsea's wait for Champions League glory after signing a three-year deal to become the new manager at Stamford Bridge.

Ancelotti, 49, officially takes charge on 1 July as Chelsea's fifth manager in less than two years following Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Guus Hiddink.

Chelsea have won every trophy available to them since Roman Abramovich injected his millions into the club - except for the Champions League.

Ancelotti's managerial success in Europe - guiding AC Milan to two Champions League titles and three finals during an eight-year rein at the San Siro - made him the "outstanding candidate" in Chelsea's eyes.

Ancelotti also won two European Cups as a player and he is determined to taste continental success once again at Stamford Bridge.

"For me, the Champions League is a beautiful sensation because when I played I won two times in 1989 and 1990 and it was a fantastic achievement," he said.

"And it was the same as a coach in 2003 and 2007. Champions League, for me, is the best competition in the world and all teams want to win it.

"Five semi-finals in six years is a beautiful score (for Chelsea) but now we need to win."

Hiddink ended his short stint in charge with victory over Everton in Saturday's FA Cup final and a warning that Chelsea must instil some stability at the top, and give the new man time to bed in.

The Dutchman had agreed to take over on a temporary basis and succeeded in steadying the ship after a turbulent two seasons at Stamford Bridge following Mourinho's departure.

Chelsea indicated today it was Ancelotti's long-term success that made him their number one target.

A club statement read: "Carlo was the outstanding candidate for the job. He has proved over a long period his ability to build teams that challenged for, and have been successful in, major domestic and European competitions.

"He also had a highly successful playing career in those competitions and therefore brings unparalleled all round experience to the job.

"We are sure everybody at Chelsea will give him a warm welcome and we are all looking forward to working with him."

But there are question marks over Ancelotti, not least over his lack of English given the problems that appeared to bring when Scolari was in charge.

While Ancelotti delivered success for Milan on the European stage he managed only one league title in eight seasons. This year Milan finished in third place in Serie A, 10 points behind Mourinho's Inter.

Closing the gap on Manchester United and re-establishing Chelsea on top of the Barclays Premier League will be just as important a task for Ancelotti as masterminding European success.

Ancelotti's philosophy in creating close relationships between manager and players is similar to the approach taken by Mourinho and Hiddink, who both succeeded in galvanising the squad.

"I want to bring my experience, my individual quality and I think to win it is important to work together. That is the most important thing, to win," he said.

"I know English football very well and Chelsea is a great team, great players, strong team.

"I like to be close with the players. I like to be close with the company. I like to speak with people and I believe in teamwork.

"It is the most important thing, to create a group that works together to build a dream.

"For me (English) is not easy but I want to learn and I want to improve. I have the time and when we start the season I will speak well," he said.

"It is important for me to speak with the players, the team, the assistant and all the operators that will work with me."

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