Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 26th 2013 Contents only to lose the league title by three points.
The club recovered from that blow to win the
league last season, finishing eight points clear of
Marseille, despite a mid-season rocky patch that led
to Ancelotti openly questioning the commitment of
PSG reportedly went after Fabio Capello, Andre
Villas-Boas, Rafael Benitez and other high-profile
managers before opting to give Blanc a two-year
PSG was also apparently not Blanc s first choice.
Only after Roma took Rudi Garcia did Blanc turn
back to PSG, and the lack of total commitment by
each side was written into a contract in which the
second year was reportedly an optional year as the
club s hierarchy keep an eye on the situation at English
club Arsenal, where Arsene Wenger has one season
left on his contract. Wenger has long been a favorite
of PSG s cash-rich Qatari-based owners, QSI.
Blanc, a 1998 World Cup winner as an attacking
midfielder for France, coached Bordeaux to the French
title and League Cup in 2009, and was handed the
reins to France a year later.
He entered Euro 2012 on a 21-match unbeaten
run, but the team s discipline and effort fell apart
and France meekly bowed out to Spain in the quar-
A year later, he s a manager again. (AP)
Carlo Ancelotti ...
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, June 26, 2013
MADRID---It was no surprise when
Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain
named their new coaches almost
simultaneously yesterday. For weeks,
the clubs were tied together over the
fate of Carlo Ancelotti.
Ultimately, with a year to go on his
contract at PSG, Ancelotti was suc-
cessfully lured by Madrid.
At the same time, PSG filled the void
left by Ancelotti by settling on Laurent
Blanc, who was last seen on a sideline
leading France at the 2012 European
Both teams got the men they wanted,
winners of titles as players and coach-
es.Madrid got a coach with a little less
ego than Jose Mourinho and a little
more sensitivity, while PSG didn t get
its first, second or third choice, but a
respected figure all the same.
After rebuffing Madrid for weeks,
even before PSG clinched its first French
league title in 19 years on May 12, the
club gave in to Ancelotti s desire to
leave and Madrid s deeper pockets.
Following Mourinho s three tumul-
tuous seasons, Ancelotti received a
three-year contract and the immediate
task of rebuilding trust in a dressing
room riven by his predecessor. He will
be presented at the Santiago Bernabeu
Ancelotti will also have to nail down
his squad, with striker Gonzalo Higuain
likely leaving and the club linked to
attempts for Tottenham winger Gareth
Bale after losing a complex bidding war
for Neymar to Barcelona.
Ancelotti will also need to resolve
three hefty problems inherited from
Mourinho: To find a way to definitely
break Barcelona s hold on the Spanish
league; win the Champions League
after Madrid lost in the semifinals for
three straight years; and decide if he
gives goalkeeper and captain Iker Casil-
las back his starting role, or continues
to favor newcomer---and Mourinho s
preferred keeper---Diego Lopez.
Mourinho broke Barcelona s grip on
the domestic league for one season,
but was unable to win for Madrid an
elusive 10th Champions League.
Madrid hailed Ancelotti yesterday,
saying he d been "elected best coach
in all leagues where he has coached:
Italy, England and France."
Ancelotti, who won the European
Cup twice as a player for AC Milan in
1989 and 1990, won Champions League
crowns as the club coach in 2003 and
2007, and the Serie A in 2004. He led
Chelsea---the club Mourinho now
coaches---to the English Premier League
title and FA Cup in 2010.
PSG spent lavishly in Ancelotti s two
seasons, with an outlay of around 260
million euros ($340 million) to secure
big names like striker Zlatan Ibrahi-
movic and center back Thiago Silva.
Despite having such talent at his dis-
posal, Ancelotti struggled to get the
squad to play cohesively. Under him,
PSG never went beyond the quarter-
finals of any domestic cup competi-
When Ancelotti joined PSG during
the winter break of the 2011-12 season,
replacing Antoine Kombouare, it held
a three-point lead over Montpellier,
ROME---Naples prosecutors said yes-
terday they had ordered the search of
dozens of Italian club offices as part
of a tax evasion investigation relating
to player contracts.
Financial police were executing search
warrants to seize documents from most
of the 20 clubs in Serie A, including
AC Milan, Juventus and Lazio, in addi-
tion to clubs in lower divisions.
A statement by Naples prosecutors
indicated some foreign clubs also were
part of the investigation, but they did
not identify them.
Prosecutors said the clubs were under
investigation for alleged conspiracy to
avoid payment of "huge amounts of
money" to tax authorities during the
transfer of players. The clubs were also
accused of "systematic" billing for non-
The seized material detailed the rela-
tionship between clubs, players and
sports agents, their contracts as well
as television rights.
Inter President Massimo Moratti said
his club had handed over documents
concerning past transactions.
"It wasn t a search, just a request
for past documentation," Moratti said
in comments to reporters that were
posted on the Inter website. "Nothing
to be concerned about."
Italy has been on a wholesale crack-
down on tax cheats in a bid to recover
the estimated 20 percent of Italy s GDP
that is lost to tax evasion each year.
Several high-profile athletes have been
caught up in the crackdown, including
seven-time motorcycling world cham-
pion Valentino Rossi and more famously
The statement from prosecutors
made no mention of any players, team
officials or sporting agents being placed
under investigation. (AP)
Ancelotti lands at Real Madrid
...PSG takes Blanc
Italy clubs searched over tax evasion
LONDON---Germany forward Andre
Schuerrle has completed his move
to Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen
on a five-year deal, becoming Jose
Mourinho s first signing since
returning to the English Premier
The clubs agreed to the deal on
June 13 but Schuerrle still needed to
sort out personal terms and pass a
The 22-year-old Schuerrle says
yesterday "I am so happy now I have
signed and it is an honour for me to
play for this club, with this team and
for these great fans."
Schuerrle, who has scored seven
goals in 24 matches for Germany,
can play out wide or in a central role
behind the striker. (AP)
Schuerrle completes Chelsea move
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