Pep's Camp Nou nightmares and Zidane glory – when Champions League coaches face former clubs

By Sports Desk March 17, 2023

The Champions League quarter-final draw threw up no shortage of intrigue – particularly for Pep Guardiola.

The Manchester City manager will face Bayern Munich for the first time since leaving Germany in 2016.

But that is not the only reunion in the last eight as Carlo Ancelotti again goes back to Chelsea 12 months on from an epic tie at the same stage last season.

It might not be Ancelotti's last meeting with a former side either, potentially facing Bayern in the semi-finals and then Napoli or Milan in the final.

The Madrid coach has a mixed record facing sides he has previously coached, however, while Guardiola has some painful memories to get over.

Stats Perform looks at how the most dominant coaches of the modern era have fared against former teams...

Carlo Ancelotti (P14 W3 D5 L6)

The Italian eliminated two of his former employers en route to winning the Champions League in 2021-22, with dramatic comebacks against both Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 and Chelsea in the quarter-finals.

And Ancelotti's first European crown as a coach came courtesy of Milan beating Juventus on penalties in the 2003 final.

There was another victory against Juventus while in his first stint with Madrid back in 2013-14, winning at the Santiago Bernabeu in the group stage.

Yet after that match, Ancelotti went nine without a win in the Champions League against clubs he had previously coached, finally ending that run with the second-leg victory against PSG last season.

That miserable sequence included a semi-final loss to Juve in 2015 when Madrid were defending champions, along with crashing out at the quarter-final stage against Madrid while in charge of Bayern in 2016-17.

In September 2017, Bayern lost 3-0 to PSG, prompting Ancelotti's sacking. It is fair to say he has bounced back.

Pep Guardiola (P4 W2 D0 L2)

Guardiola may be set to face Bayern for the first time since joining City, but he has already endured a pair of rough returns to Barcelona.

His first Champions League trip back to Camp Nou, where the Catalan coach had so many happy memories, was in the 2014-15 semi-finals.

Guardiola's Bayern were blown away by eventual champions Barca, losing 3-0 in a game best remembered for Lionel Messi's mesmerising second goal that left Jerome Boateng in a spin. Bayern's 3-2 home victory in the second leg was too little, too late.

Yet that tie does not even include Guardiola's heaviest defeat to the Blaugrana, taking City back to his former home in the 2016-17 group stage and losing 4-0 as Messi hit a hat-trick.

City at least responded with a 3-1 win at home, but Guardiola will hope this latest reunion is far more enjoyable.

Jose Mourinho (P8 W5 D1 L2)

Guardiola's great rival Jose Mourinho has had far more joy facing former friends, although he has had the benefit of taking on Porto – the underdogs he remarkably led to the 2004 title – with some big hitters.

Porto were still reigning European champions when Mourinho's Chelsea faced them in the 2004-05 group stage, splitting the two matches as the sides won their home games.

Mourinho's second stint at Chelsea also included a double-header against Porto in 2015-16, in which they again won one game apiece, but the now Roma boss revels in knockout ties.

Chelsea beat Porto over two legs in the last 16 in 2006-07, before the Blues saw one of these encounters from the other side in 2009-10. Mourinho's Inter dumped Chelsea out in the first knockout round, going on to win the competition.

Zinedine Zidane (P3 W2 D0 L1 – versus Juventus)

Despite persistent speculation, Zinedine Zidane has still only coached one club – albeit over two spells – in Madrid.

But the former France midfielder played for Juventus before joining Madrid, and the Bianconeri proved accommodating opponents during his time as coach at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Zidane and Madrid won three Champions Leagues in three years between 2016 and 2018, beating Juve en route to the second two successes.

The Madrid boss's first meeting with Juve as a coach was in the 2017 final in Cardiff, where Los Blancos swatted their Serie A opponents aside 4-1.

It was a rather closer and more controversial affair the following season, when Madrid were coasting after Cristiano Ronaldo's first-leg overhead kick in a 3-0 away win in the quarter-finals, only for Juve to rally in Spain.

At 3-0, the tie was heading for extra time, before a remarkable finale saw Gianluigi Buffon sent off as Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot. Rarely has a 3-1 loss been so celebrated.

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