Tchouameni to join Real Madrid: five midfielders who became stars under Ancelotti

Real Madrid have reportedly agreed on a deal to sign Aurélien Tchouameni from Monaco and Football Italia looks to the five midfielders who became stars under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti.

The 22-year-old is one of the most exciting prospects in European football. According to The Athletic, the Merengues have agreed on a deal to secure his services for circa €100m. The France international had been linked with Juventus, Liverpool and Manchester United, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side have outbid their competitors using part of the budget they had planned to use to sign Kylian Mbappé.

Tchouameni will bolster Ancelotti’s options in the middle of the park, joining what’s probably the best midfield in the world right now. The Italian tactician has worked with many midfielders who have become world-class stars under his guidance, from Kakà to Marco Verratti. Here are five of them.

Andrea Pirlo

Although Carlo Mazzone had already used the Maestro as a deep-lying playmaker at Brescia, the 2006 Italy World Cup winner became a top-class star at Milan, playing in front of the defence in Ancelotti’s three-man midfield for almost 10 years.

Pirlo won the Champions League twice with the Italian tactician in charge, first in 2003 and then in 2007. The former Milan and Juventus star played 327 games under Ancelotti, more than with any other coach in his career.


The Brazilian star was almost unknown when he joined Milan in 2003. Milan were his first European club, but he had an immediate impact at the Stadio Meazza, quickly becoming a regular starter at the expense of a certain Manuel Rui Costa.

Unlike Pirlo and Tchouameni, Kaka was an attacking midfielder. He made his Serie A debut in a 2-0 win away at Ancona in September 2003 and scored his first goal in a Derby della Madonnina against Inter one month later.

He netted 95 goals in 270 games under Ancelotti, again, more than under any other boss during his playing career. He was Milan’s standout performer in their Champions League-winning campaign in 2006-07 and won the Ballon d’Or at the end of the year. He had joined the Rossoneri for €8.5m and left the club after six years, joining Real Madrid for €67m.

Marco Verratti

The former Pescara man wasn’t unknown to many Serie A and Italian football lovers, but many eyebrows were raised when PSG signed him for €12m from Pescara in 2012, when he was barely 20. He had just gained promotion to Serie A but has played in Italy’s top-flight and that’s mainly due to Ancelotti.

Verratti immediately became a regular starter in Paris and is now one of the best midfielders of La Nazionale. Despite his history with injuries, he played a key role in Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph last summer.

The 29-year-old admitted in February that sometimes he had driven Ancelotti mad but still managed 39 appearances during the Carletto’s reign in the French capital.

“At the beginning, Ancelotti took me aside and told me: ‘Marco, please, when you are caught, close your eyes and shoot the ball as far as possible,” he told L’Equipe.

“Then, later, he said to me: ‘OK, Marco, do what you want because I know it’s your game. Either I leave you on the bench or I take you as you are, because you will never change.'”

Fabian Ruiz

The Spain international hasn’t yet reached the status of the above-mentioned stars, but is one of the best midfielders in Serie A.

The Spaniard has been linked with a return to Spain, where Barcelona have been scouting him for a long time. Ancelotti pushed to sign him at Napoli in the summer of 2018 and the Partenopei secured his signature from Betis for €30m.

Fabian played 59 games under the Italian tactician scoring eight goals and Carletto is still an admirer of the 26-year-old. There are reports that Madrid are also interested in the Spaniard, but the imminent arrival of Tchouameni means the Merengues may not challenge their arch-rivals Barcelona to sign him.

His contract with Napoli runs out in 2023 and he is expected to leave the Stadio Maradona to join a top European club if he doesn’t reach an agreement to extend his stay at the club.

Eduardo Camavinga

Still only 19-year-old, the France international has been developing massively under Ancelotti at the Santiago Bernabeu and had a crucial role in their Champions League-winning campaign this season.

He wasn’t a regular starter and he still can’t be compared to the likes of Pirlo or Verratti, but Camavinga has proved that he has what it takes to become a star.

Ancelotti introduced him in the return legs against PSG and Manchester City and the former Rennes star was instrumental in Madrid’s decisive goals in both ties, helping the Merengues reach the Final against Liverpool, which they eventually won.

He racked up 46 appearances in his first season at the Santiago Bernabeu and according to Transfermarkt, he is already worth €55m. A champion in the making.


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