Carlo Ancelotti’s Tactics for Real Madrid in the 2023/2024 Season

March 24, 2024

by xfcedi

carlo ancelotti tactics real madrid 1

By Eduard Bănulescu

Carlo Ancelotti is one of the greatest and most successful managers of all time. But not only that. He’s still busy changing his tactics, is looking to win Real Madrid more trophies and even gets to turn down Brazil if he feels like it.

Ancelotti is such a successful manager partly because he knows that a good thing can’t last forever. For the the 2023/2024 campaign, he has made some important alterations to his tactics at Real Madrid. It’s the reason why we need to focus on how the team is performing at the moment while using these tactics.

Career Prior to Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti is one of the greatest people to be involved with football. His list of achievements is, quite literally, beyond compare.

Ancelotti was a world-class midfielder. He made his debut as a football player back in Parma. However, his greatest achievements are tied to his time playing for AS Roma and AC Milan. The latter, in particular, was a multiple European Cup-winning side and what some believe to be the greatest football team of all-time.

A pesky injury forced him off the field and into management. By 1999, he was managing Juventus, and by 2009, he was guiding another of AC Milan’s most awe-inspiring teams, this time from the bench. Following his departure in 2009, he’s been something of a genius for hire. He has managed the likes of Chelsea, Paris-Saint Germain, Bayern Munchen, Napoli and even Everton.

He won every important football trophy, usually multiple times. By the time he lifted the Champions League trophy with Real Madrid in 2022, something he’d already done back in 2014, many were quick to call Mr. Ancelotti the best manager of his era. He certainly has the trophy cabinet to prove it.

Football Philosophy

Ancelotti has been managing since 1992, most of the time at the highest level. Football has changed a lot since then. And this is why the Italian has opted to bring changes to his style as well.

Carlo Ancelotti started out as a pupil of Arrigo Sacchi, his manager in Milan and Italy. That approach was highly defensive at its core but allowed a few of the more skilled players free reins. The team is usually set up in a 4-4-2 formation, engaged in man-to-man marking and strict pressing.

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Formations and adaptability

During the 2023/2024 season, Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid showcases a remarkable blend of formations and adaptability. Primarily set up in a versatile 4-3-3 formation, Ancelotti’s Madrid fluidly shifts into various structures like 4-5-1 or 3-5-2, adapting as the game calls for. Ancelotti’s ultimate goal is to control the midfield, dictate the pace, and exploit the opposition’s weaknesses effectively.

Ancelotti is also a master of utilizing the squad’s depth. The Italian manager rotates players and tweaks positions comfortably while maintaining the team’s core strengths. The hallmark of Ancelotti’s approach this season is a balance between tactical discipline and the freedom for players to express themselves.

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Real Madrid in Defense

This season, anchored by a solid backline, Ancelotti’s strategy emphasizes a high-pressing game. Real aims to regain possession swiftly and disrupt the opponent’s rhythm. The adoption of a 4-3-3 formation allows for defensive solidity while providing the midfield trio the platform to support both defense and attack effectively.

Ancelotti’s approach to defense is not just about holding the line but about strategic anticipation and intelligent positioning, turning defense into a launching pad for Madrid’s attacks. The focus on quick transitions showcases a blend of traditional Italian defensive principles with modern, proactive football.

Real Madrid in Attack

Carlo Ancelotti’s modern Real Madrid illustrates an attacking philosophy that balances creativity with precision. Emphasizing fluid movements and versatile formations, Ancelotti deploys a 4-3-3 setup that transitions seamlessly into a 4-5-1, allowing for both width and depth in offensive manoeuvres.

The team’s approach in attack is characterized by quick, sharp passing sequences and the exploitation of spaces, particularly through the wings and midfield channels.

The attacking trio, supported by dynamic midfielders, drives Real Madrid’s offensive play. Ancelotti encourages overlapping runs from full-backs, adding an extra layer to the attack, while midfielders orchestrate play, finding gaps in the opposition’s defense.

What next for Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid?

Carlo Ancelotti has rarely stayed in one place as a manager. This is due to his personality but also to the nature of the high-profile jobs themselves. Last year, it seemed nearly certain that he would depart Madrid and become the head coach of Brazil. Even the Selecao’s president announced the news. It never happened, and Brazil are gearing up for Copa America with Dorival Junior as their coach.

As things stand, Real Madrid has a good chance of winning another La Liga title. And, they will do battle with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City for what could turn out to be a historic Champions League triumph.

Ancelotti isn’t done yet. As one of the most respected and successful managers in the game, he is now reaping the rewards of hard work and experience. And trophies are always a possibility for one of the collect men in football.



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