Belfast Telegraph

Carlo Ancelotti can emulate Liverpool legend Bob Paisley

By Steven Beacom

Best club manager ever in European football? Sir Alex Ferguson? Jose Mourinho? Pep Guardiola? Brian Clough? Ernst Happel? Jock Stein?

You could raise an argument for all of the above and a few others, but none can match a modest bloke called Bob Paisley.

The European Cup/Champions League is the biggest prize a club manager can win. The competition began in 1955 and in all that time only ONE boss has been in charge of the triumphant team on THREE occasions – the brilliant Paisley.

The iconic Bill Shankly, of course, laid the foundations at Anfield, but Paisley, with his great eye for talent and tactical nous, built on that.

As we've seen at Manchester United, following a legend is not easy, but Bob made it look that way.

Apart from incredible domestic success, Paisley guided the Reds to European Cup glory in 1977, 1978 and 1981, all in the most understated fashion.

Perhaps that's why outside Liverpool he's rarely recognised when the greatest managers are discussed.

Bob, who passed away aged 77 in 1996, should always be in that conversation.

Come tomorrow night Carlo Ancelotti will deserve to be talked about in the same reverential tones should his Real Madrid side beat Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final in Lisbon.

Ancelotti has won the European Cup twice already as boss in 2003 and 2007 with AC Milan. One more and history would be made.

Tomorrow night is not all about Cristiano Ronaldo!

Belfast Telegraph

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