Before Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg, Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti urged Frank Lampard to succeed as Chelsea manager and ruled out a return.
After Lampard was named Chelsea’s interim manager, Ancelotti will face his former player at the Santiago Bernabeu in the midweek match.
After a string of disappointing results, Chelsea slid to 11th in the Premier League and was eliminated from the FA Cup and League Cup, despite spending around 300 million pounds ($373 million) on new players in January.
The Champions League is England’s last opportunity for a trophy this season.
“Chelsea’s table place saddens me. I remember this club and its employees fondly. I support Chelsea because I spent two years there “Ancelotti told reporters Monday.
“Coaching again? No, I hope Lampard can do a great job with them… Coached Lampard for two years.
“He prepares his team effectively for these games. After a week at Chelsea, he will succeed.”
Despite Chelsea’s dismal form, Ancelotti warned his team to be wary of the English club, which has defeated Real twice in four Champions League knockout games in the last two seasons.
“We suffered a lot last year,” the Italian boss stated.
“We must respect the squad and club because they have good players and are motivated to do well even when they are struggling. High-level squad.
“The club is eager to return to the Champions League and enjoy another Bernabeu night. We must capitalize on our home opener.”