Napoli fire Ancelotti after qualifying for Champions League knockout phase

Napoli has fired their manager, Carlo Ancelotti.

In this season’s final group stage game in the Champions League, the Italian went out on a high with a 4-0 win over Genk.

Their poor form in Series A, however, has seen them not only lag the title contestants, but also fall outside the European places of qualification.

Ancelotti was linked to Arsenal as an option after Unai Emery was dismissed as head coach by the Gunners in November.

Following the sacking of Marco Silva, Everton is also looking for a new manager while Manuel Pellegrini is under severe pressure at West Ham.

Before being unceremoniously dumped by Roman Abramovich in 2011, Ancelotti went on to win a Premier League and FA Cup double with Chelsea in 2010, during his previous stay in England.

“Napoli decided to revoke Mr. Carlo Ancelotti’s role as technical manager of the first team,” read a statement posted to the official Twitter account of the club.

“The company, its president Aurelio De Laurentiis and Carlo Ancelotti’s friendship, esteem and mutual respect remain intact.” Napoli finished second in Series A in 2016 and 2018 under Maurizio Sarri and finished third in 2017. Ancelotti was able to guide them back to Maz Allegri’s Juventus to the runners up spot again in 2019.

After the summer appointment of Antonio Conte as Inter manager, another club is leading the title race as the beginning of 2020 approaches.

With 15 games played, Lazio, Cagliari, Roma and Atalanta are all ranked in front of Napoli. Ancelotti was seven points off seventh place when he was dismissed.

In this position, if Napoli finished the campaign, they would not qualify for the Europa League, let alone the next season’s Champions League.

No coach can boast of winning as many titles as Ancelotti in the Champions League.

He led Real Madrid to their 10th title in 2014, defeating Atletico Madrid in the final, after winning the biggest prize in European football club twice with Milan.

Had his Milan side not lost to Liverpool in the final surprising circumstances in 2005, he might have been able to count four Champions League titles.

At half-time in Istanbul, the Italians led the game 3-0 only to get the Reds back in the second half and win the penalty trophy under Rafael Benitez.