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Carlo Ancelotti: Liverpool Made 'Right Choice' to Sign Jurgen Klopp Ahead of Me

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2020

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) and Napoli's Italian head coach Carlo Ancelotti (R) watches his players from the touchline during the UEFA Champions league Group E football match between Liverpool and Napoli at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on November 27, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti has said Liverpool made the "right decision" to appoint Jurgen Klopp as the club's manager ahead of him in 2015.

Klopp succeeded Brendan Rodgers in the Anfield hot seat, although at the time there was speculation over Ancelotti possibly taking charge. The Italian had left Real Madrid at the end of the previous season.

Ancelotti is now in charge of Liverpool's Merseyside rivals Everton, and the two teams will square off on Sunday in the third round of the FA Cup. Ahead of the contest, the Toffees coach confirmed he had a conversation with the Anfield club, although he said it's clear they made a smart choice in Klopp, per Chris Bascombe of the Daily Telegraph.

"It was after (I left) Real Madrid, I had a chat with the owner," he said. "They were looking for a new manager, but I think they made a right choice with Jurgen. He is doing fantastic work at Liverpool, so well done."

It's difficult to argue with Ancelotti's assessment, as Klopp has transformed the fortunes of the Reds during his time in charge.

Last year, the team won the UEFA Champions League title, and at the moment, they are 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Per B/R Football, Thursday's 2-0 win over Sheffield United means they went undefeated for a year in English football's top flight:

B/R Football @brfootball

Liverpool will go a year without losing a Premier League game. Only two teams have longer unbeaten runs ๐Ÿ˜ค https://t.co/owHT5QaJeX

Ancelotti is the only coach to have masterminded a win over Liverpool in the Premier League or Champions League this season, as his Napoli team were 2-0 winners in the latter.

On Sunday, he will be hoping to repeat the trick when his side visit Anfield. It will be a huge test, though, as Everton have a rotten record at their former stadium, with no wins there since 1999.

Ahead of the match, Ancelotti appeared to be keen to embrace the local rivalry in his press conference:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Spies. Spies everywhere. ๐Ÿ•ตโ€โ™‚ https://t.co/YY3gFFA3OR

The Italian brings incredible experience to Goodison Park, having won three Champions League titles and numerous other honours. His influence will no doubt be key if Everton are to spring a shock.

Klopp was full of praise for his opposite number in his pre-match press conference, too, saying he thinks he'll fare well with the Toffees:

juliette ferrington @juliette_grace

Klopp talking about Ancelotti โ€œWhen I heard it, I thought it was a proper combination. they will do well, but it is still a challenge. I am not too concerned about what #EFC is doing but we play them. Always have a good time with @MrAncelotti.โ€ #FACup

For Ancelotti, a win over Liverpool would be a fantastic way to quickly earn favour with fans of his new club. With the team languishing in mid-table in the Premier League, a cup run in 2020 would keep focus and spirits high on the blue half of Merseyside.

With the Premier League and Champions League taking priority for Liverpool this term, Klopp will likely make a number of changes for Sunday's match, potentially giving Everton the chance to finally break their Anfield hoodoo.

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