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Ancelotti and Conte pay tribute to Mazzone: Everyone loved him

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has paid tribute to Carlo Mazzone.

The Italian coaching legend passed away on Saturday.

Ancelotti took to social media to state: "Football loses an example of professionalism, wisdom and irony.

"Rest in peace dear Carlo."

Former Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte also made a glowing tribute yesterday.

"Mazzone was a great coach and an extraordinary person who left a mark in Italian football in the last 50 years and in my career as well," Cote wrote in an open letter published by Gazzetta.

“Eugenio Fascetti, my first Lecce coach, gave me my Serie A debut at 16, but Mazzone made me grow as a footballer. Our three years together were full of experiences, lessons, and human and professional growth.

“That's why, to me, Mazzone was not only a coach but also, somehow, a father. Gruff, harsh at times, but also provided with an extraordinary humanity. This big man, with his Roman dialect, said things straight out, causing a certain reverential fear to us young players," continued Conte.

“That Lecce side earned a Serie A promotion and two survivals. I was part of that team too. We were smart, extroverted guys born in that land and grew up in dusty fields, accustomed to always coming through. Mazzone knew that and he knew how to alternate the carrot and stick with us. He was a great motivator and we feared nobody when we were playing at home. When we made errors, trouble began.

“Now everyone mentions funny stories about him, but I can ensure there were no jokes before, during and after games.

“There were no smiles in the dressing room, we had to prepare for the battle. For example, he didn't like to greet opponents. I remember that once, one of my teammates embraced an opponent in the tunnel and we heard his voice from far away, shouting: 'Hey, do you want to kiss him too?'

“He was tough and sometimes we started the training retreat before a game on Tuesday. It was another football.

“Being direct and passionate, often wearing tracksuits and football boots, may have affected his image. It felt like he was only able to take charge of smaller clubs. It wasn't true. I've always said that a chef prepares a soup with the ingredients he has and he was a practical coach.

“To me, the best coach is the one who reaches the club's targets and was almost always able to do so. Everyone loved him, fans and players, because he gave his all for his clubs. The peak of his career was to coach Roma, which he supported.

“I faced him many times during my career. He was in charge of Perugia when my Juventus side lost the Serie A title in the last game," the former midfielder recalled.

“When the game stopped due to heavy rain, we waited inside the tunnel, but he returned to his dressing room, not to lose focus. He had a fire inside his eyes, maybe even more than usual, because somebody had doubted his commitment to that game. These things infuriated him. He was a loyal and professional man.

“Dear Mister, thanks for what you gave me, for the man and the coach you were. You gave a lot to football and fans and players, including your opponents, loved you. This is the most important Scudetto, and you won it."

Video of the day:

Carlos Volcano
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Carlos Volcano

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