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Ancelotti vs Klopp is a generational match

On one side the Real Madrid coach, shy and meditative, on the other the Liverpool coach, outgoing and rock'n roll

Ancelotti vs Klopp is a generational match On one side the Real Madrid coach, shy and meditative, on the other the Liverpool coach, outgoing and rock'n roll

Watching Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp compete in a Champions League final - tonight May 28 in Paris - at a time of comparisons and generational discourse may symbolize yet another opposition between different worlds. On one side the Real Madrid coach, on the other the Liverpool coach, two figures in every sense different. Because Ancelotti is a coach from another era: up-to-date, methodical, rigorous, but still with anti-historical charm compared to the icons we are used to seeing now on the benches. And that is why the comparison (even lifestyle) with Klopp fascinates us. They represent two antithetical schools of thought and, above all, professionals who belong to two different historical eras. 

For someone like Klopp, today, even not winning, it is easier to get on the front pages. Because Klopp is scenic, he has christened his style with the tech-code of suits (first New Balance and then Nike) and glasses But most of all, he has made his spirit - rock'n roll, to quote the definitions given of it in his Borussia days - a brand. Like Guardiola and the Cholo, Klopp is a brand of himself that has as its product a certain kind of football, to which his beard and round glasses are the primary marketing vehicle, along with a certain rhetoric. As reserved as he is, his lifestyle status is as labelable as few among his peers. The German coach represents that category of laptop trainer that is so common today, but that ten years ago was not even allowed on the sidelines. In this Klopp was a forerunner first and a totem later, which is why he has such an extensive and respectful personal fanbase today.  

To be understood, like all radicals, the German coach also has his share of supporters as much as detractors, but no one can deny his recognizability, whether in footballing style or in dress. In Klopp we can see the reflection of many young coaches, those who care about style and rely on technology through which they unscrupulously pursue their theory. 

Today's football is certainly more adjacent to Klopp than to Ancelotti, but the latter has that strange aura around his bench that, given the results, it is hard to characterize as an underdog. Before Real, Ancelotti actually seemed to have been sidelined from the international soccer geography after unsexy adventures with Napoli and Everton. Instead, two years later, he finds himself in the Champions League Final and champion of LaLiga, celebrated with his usual class as evidenced by the cigar-wielding photo that has made the rounds. 

As Allegri said recently, "Carlo (Ancelotti, ed.) is a classic coach, he never goes out of fashion. Like the blue suit or the gray suit". Ancelotti, on the charm of the wise, the expert, has built his current persona by tracing a topos as old as soccer itself. But it is precisely because of his attitude that he cannot be a role model, because he belongs to a way of thinking about soccer that one rarely encounters anymore these days. But it is precisely because he is a winner like few, through his homely, meditative style, that he is scariest of all. Ancelotti a boomer and Klopp a millennial? Maybe. What is certain is only that they are two phenomena in their own field.