CARLO ANCELOTTI admitted he tried to humiliate Chelsea with an incredibly cheeky Sunday League tactic.
The Italian is widely regarded as one of the greatest managers of his generation.
But with four Champions League titles and winner’s medals in all of the top-five leagues, even Ancelotti is not immune from using techniques spotted on park pitches.
When Real Madrid kicked off for the second half of last Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg at Stamford Bridge, Karim Benzema took the kick-off.
But just a few yards back in his own half in the centre circle stood midfielder Fede Valverde.
And Ancelotti revealed he was there to try and catch Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga out with a stunning long-range strike because the Spaniard often stands off his line.
Asked about the tactic by Marca, the Los Blancos chief openly said: “We have seen in recent games that Kepa at the beginning of the game was on the penalty spot.
“We thought that with a long shot from Valverde, we could score.
“We tried to work a lot on set pieces, less defensively because we defend in the zone.”
In the end, Valverde did not give it a go and resisted the urge with the strike not on.
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But the Uruguayan midfielder still had a major impact on the game, proving a constant threat and bursting through to set up Rodrygo’s second on the night to wrap up a 2-0 win.
Valverde once apparently shook hands on a £2.6million transfer to Arsenal – even training with the first team – before getting snapped up by Real Madrid.
However, he could face a lengthy ban after allegedly punching Villarreal star Alex Baena following reported sick comments about Valverde’s pregnant wife and unborn child.