Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that one of the biggest regrets of his career involved Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and dates back over 15 years ago to a point where Arsene Wenger spotted something he was blind to.
Speaking to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, with the quotes run by the Daily Express, Ancelotti was asked if he had changed much over the years and how he has adjusted his tactics to manage players like Cristiano Ronaldo at the Santiago Bernabeu.
"I did not notice that Henry was not a winger"
There were also questions of regret and mistakes, if at any moment in his career he wished he has acted differently - two of the greatest players of their generation came to mind for him and he lamented his failure to see what was in front of him.
One of these will make Arsenal fans especially thankful for the foresight of currently under pressure manager Wenger and give them an opportunity to reminisce about better times with the Gunners.
Henry's £11million in 1999 move to Arsenal came about after he had spent a season marooned out on the left with Juventus in Serie A following his transfer from AS Monaco. Ancelotti only took up the job in 1999 and regrets that he was not able to see the same thing Wenger did in the speedy youngster, amongst other things.
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"As a person I have not changed - I have the same ideas and the same values," said the former Chelsea manager.
“The difference is that I feel cosmopolitan. And even multilingual! I speak four languages, so my Italian is deteriorating. The experiences in London, Paris and Madrid have been invaluable. Then, as a coach I am less anxious, more international.
“Tactics? The evolution has developed with the need to coexist players of great technical quality, adapting them to a system of play.
“My mistakes? I did not want Baggio at Parma and then at Juventus I did not notice that Henry was not a winger."
Henry moved to north London and eventually became the club's greatest ever goalscorer and, probably, the Gunners greatest ever player. At the time it was a trend of Wenger to find talented youngsters that were perhaps not finding their best form elsewhere.
Ancelotti may have made that mistake, but has gone on to become one of the most successful managers of the modern era, coaching some of the best and most prestigious clubs across European football.
He won league titles with Chelsea, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and is on course for one in Spain with Real Madrid. Though his greatest achievement is probably winning the Champions League three times in his career - twice with Milan and La Decima last season with Madrid.
Ancelotti's comments come at a time when it looks as though Henry is about to hang up his boots and retire after leading New York Red Bulls into the MLS playoffs this season. Arsenal fans would love a return to the club for him and his experience of being the best striker in the world could be invaluable for Wenger.
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