Antonio Conte doing an 'extraordinary' job at Chelsea - Carlo Ancelotti
Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti has praised Antonio Conte on doing an "extraordinary" job at his former club Chelsea after the Blues equalled a Premier League record of 13 straight wins in a season.
Ancelotti was the last Italian coach to lead Chelsea to a Premier League title in 2010 and he believes Conte has what it takes to emulate him this season after a 4-2 win over Stoke City took them six points clear at the top of the table.
"What Conte is doing at Chelsea is extraordinary," Ancelotti said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport. "Antonio has determination, ideas, personality and experience. He's mature as a coach now and I'm truly happy for him.
"[Zinedine] Zidane has won the World Club Cup after winning the Champions League [with Real Madrid], and there were people who thought he was not a coach. The truth is Conte and Zidane had quality on the field and they've taken that into their new jobs with them."
Ancelotti, who has deemed his first six months as Bayern coach as "exceptional," had equally warm words for other coaches, starting with Napoli's Maurizio Sarri.
"I admire Sarri's work a lot," he said. "They seem to be able to play with their eyes closed -- they are really beautiful to watch at times. Now they face Real Madrid [in the Champions League] and that's going to be an intriguing tie.
"I've never won anything on paper as a player or a coach -- you have got to win on the field and I can tell you now that if Real want to go through, they are going to have to sweat a lot."
Ancelotti won the Serie A title with AC Milan in 2004 and believes current Rossoneri coach Vincenzo Montella has what it takes to emulate him.
"I'd like to pay my compliments to Montella, who is very, very, very good," he said. "He's built a squad which wasn't at all easy and he's launching the careers of plenty of young players, courageously. That's the path to follow."
On the other side of Milan, Inter Milan coach Stefano Pioli has also caught Ancelotti's eye.
"He's a golden lad, Stefano," Ancelotti said. "He's got clear ideas and an effective game plan. It seems like the results are now starting to emerge. He's going to do well -- I hope he does."
Ancelotti, however, is struggling to see beyond Juventus becoming Serie A champions for a sixth straight time this season, while he feels they are going to be one of the teams to watch in the Champions League.
"[Massimiliano] Allegri's got a great team," he said. "I know all about the experience and mentality of Juventus and they never give you an inch. They are determined and decisive.
"They have time to improve -- they've got a month-and-a-half now to prepare for the last 16 [of the Champions League] and they've got to use this time to correct the mistakes that have emerged from the opening part of the season, but I can say the same for my Bayern -- there's plenty to put right.
"If it were not for the language [in Germany], which I just cannot get my head round, everything would be perfect. The team [Bayern] is playing well and winning, we're top of the league -- what more can one ask for?"
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.