Carlo Ancelotti has signalled his intention to return to football and his admiration for the English Premier League.
The Italian, sacked by Chelsea in May, just a year after winning a Double, still lives near the Blues’ Cobham training ground complex and continues to keenly follow English football.
“I love London. I love England. I love the football in England. The culture of the football. The atmosphere at the grounds. The competitive nature of the Premier League,” he said.
“Right now England is the best country in the world for football. In Spain you have just two teams. There is not the same competition in their championship. Here it is different. There are lots of good teams and I have to thank Chelsea for giving me the opportunity to be here.”
Ancelotti retains no bitterness towards his former club: “If I hadn’t come to Chelsea, if Chelsea hadn’t come for me, I would not have had that experience. I would not know what I know now.”
The former AC Milan boss was linked with a return to Serie A to replace Gianpiero Gasperini at Inter Milan, but Claudio Ranieri is now in the role. Ancelotti denied he has pledged to take a year out from football.
‘I haven’t said I want to take a year out,’ he said. ‘I’ve said I’m not afraid to spend one year out, trying to find a solution that enables me to stay in English football. If I can find the right solution, the right team, I will be very happy.
‘I have been keeping myself busy, working for Italian TV when the Champions League has been on. And I will go to Manchester United and Real Madrid to watch training. I have been a manager for 15 years and this is a chance to go and learn something new.
On his departure from Stamford Bridge, which came immediately after a final-day defeat at Everton, Ancelotti says he understood while he was relieved of his duties while still at Goodison Park rather than chief executive Ron Gourlay waiting until the following day.
“What would have been the point in waiting?” he said. “If they have something to tell me I prefer to know immediately. Until the end, I felt my future depended on the results. I hoped I would stay. But when Ron came to me after the press conference at Everton and said he needed to speak to me, I knew what was coming.
However, he admitted his regrets that it is Andre Villas-Boas and not him who is at the Chelsea helm. “I thought I could stay longer at Chelsea. I hoped to, because I felt really good there,” he said.
“I was not happy to leave this club and to leave these people. I had a good relationship with the players. I felt we could go on to enjoy more success. But this is football and I knew this before I went there.”