Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti apologizes for forgetting German on his Bayern Munich return

MUNICH (AP) — Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has apologized upon his return to Bayern Munich for not remembering his German.

“Ich habe vergessen Deutsch (I have forgotten German),” the Italian coach said on Monday in his only words in that language, albeit with the word order mixed up, before the teams meet on Tuesday for the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.

Ancelotti coached Bayern for just over a year during 2016-17 and won the Bundesliga, but the league title alone is not always enough to sate ambitions at the Bavarian powerhouse.

Bayern had won the previous four Bundesligas. After Ancelotti made it five in a row, Bayern won the next six.

Ancelotti was forced out after a shaky start to the 2017-18 season. Losing to Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 was the final straw for club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

“Unfortunately, we weren’t as successful back then as he is now at Real,” Bayern midfielder Joshua Kimmich said on Monday.

Under Ancelotti, Bayern’s Champions League ambitions were ended by Madrid in the quarterfinals. Borussia Dortmund knocked his team out of the German Cup, leaving just the Bundesliga.

“One title is a bit scant for us,” Bayern president Uli Hoeneß said at the time.

Ancelotti departed the club that September, his reputation tarnished after failing in the previous season in the Champions League, a competition he had won three times before.

But Ancelotti said on Monday he had only fond memories of his time in Munich.

“I was fortunate to be coach of this club. It could have been for longer, yes, but otherwise it was a nice time,” he said. “I have fantastic memories and remember it with a lot of affection.”

The Italian, who led Madrid to the 2014 Champions League title, returned to the Spanish giant in 2021 after stints in charge of Napoli and Everton. He won the Champions League again in 2022, his fourth success as coach including the two titles won with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007.

“He’s been successful almost everywhere he’s been,” Kimmich noted.

Ancelotti has won domestic honors with Milan, Madrid, Chelsea, Paris-Saint-Germain and Bayern.

Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel also praised his counterpart on Monday.

“What Carlo has done for football as a player and as a coach is at the highest level. Yet he’s always very polite and humble, it’s extraordinary,” Tuchel said. “He’s on the verge of the next (Spanish) championship and he’s in the Champions League semifinals. Carlo exudes a fatherly air, that’s one of his great strengths.”


AP soccer:

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