Carlo Ancelotti sacked at Napoli despite spot in Champions League knockout stage

Carlo Ancelotti has been sacked as manager of Napoli on Tuesday after their 4-0 victory over Genk which confirmed their place in the Champions League knockout stage.

“Napoli has decided to revoke the position of first-team coach from Carlo Ancelotti,” the club said in a statement.

“The relationship of friendship, esteem and mutual respect between the club, its president Aurelio De Laurentiis and Carlo Ancelotti remain intact.”

Ancelotti’s dismissal had been widely predicted by the Italian media who said Napoli had lined up Gennaro Gattuso, fired by AC Milan at the end of last season, as his replacement.

As for Ancelotti’s near future, he has been mentioned as candidate for the permanent job at Arsenal.

Despite securing a spot among the competition’s last-16, Ancelotti had seen the club suffer a dreadful run of domestic results.

Napoli had started the season among the Serie A title favourites and were close to a famous draw in their second match of the season when they came from 3-0 down to level it up at 3-3 away to Juventus, only to lose through a calamitous Kalidou Koulibaly own goal in stoppage time.

They won their next three matches in all competitions — including a 2-0 victory over Champions League holders Liverpool — before losing 1-0 at home to Cagliari. After winning two of their next three matches, they embarked on terrible run of form to fall off the pace in the hunt for the top four.

A 2-1 defeat away to Roma led president Aurelio De Laurentiis to order the players into a week-long retreat. However, after Ancelotti publicly said he was against the ideas, the players refused.

That decision saw the entire first team fined 25% of their monthly salary but results did not pick up.

Ancelotti began his managerial career at Reggiana in 1995 before moving to Parma a year later where he led the club to second place in the table and qualification for the Champions League.

In 1999, he moved to Juventus but was sacked at half-time of the final league match of the 2001 season with the Bianconeri having finished second to Roma.

He was named AC Milan manager in 2001 and them to two Champions League trophies, one Serie A title and a Coppa Italia in a glorious eight-year spell.

Ancelotti left Milan for Chelsea in 2009 where he won the Premier League and FA Cup double in his first season before being sacked. He then moved to Paris Saint-Germain and won the Ligue 1 in 2012-13 before leaving for Real Madrid.

At the Bernabeu, he won yet another Champions League as well as the Copa del Rey in his first campaign but was shown the door a year later. He was named Bayern Munich boss in 2016 and won the Bundesliga before he was sacked midway into his second season.

He joined Napoli in the summer of 2018 and led the club to second-place finish in his debut season.

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