Ancelotti hails Chelsea rearguard
After reaching at least the semi final stage for the last three seasons,
Ancelotti had spent eight years at AC Milan in which he lifted the Champions League trophy twice and he has also won the competition twice as a player.
The Italian recently admitted that he prioritised European success over regaining the Premier League title, although the Blues also currently sit five points clear of
Ancelotti built his Milan team around a solid defence that included the likes of Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta and Alessandro Nesta, and he believes
“John Terry continues to play with great consistency, every game, with the same determination and concentration,” Ancelotti said.
“This is important to maintain a clean sheet, every game. It’s more difficult if you’ve only got one player performing like this, but we have (Ricardo) Carvalho and Ashley Cole having fantastic seasons.”
Terry was subject of three bids from
After much deliberation, Terry chose to stay at Stamford Bridge and Ancelotti believes his influence has been profound in both domestic and European competition.
“I’m happy he stayed because players like John Terry, for a coach, are a big advantage,” the 50 year old said.
“Other players have a very good example to follow and, for a coach, that’s important. Above all in the behaviour of the team. They know how to perform on the training ground if they watch how John Terry works there.”
Ancelotti has often compared Terry to Maldini, who retired at the age of 40 after winning seven Serie A winners’ medals.
He is confident that Terry can match Maldini despite the rigour of playing for both club and country on a regular basis.
“We don’t have a physical problem with him,” Ancelotti said.
“For me, he can have a very long career.”
Although the match is a dead rubber for the Blues, APOEL can qualify for the Europa League with a draw if FC Porto beat third-placed Atletico Madrid.
The Blues have crashed out of the Champions League twice on penalties in the last three seasons but Ancelotti believes practising spot kicks on the training ground does not always guarantee success.
“Penalties are a lottery. It’s difficult to train a player on penalties,” he said.
“The atmosphere changes from the training ground. The atmosphere is the most important thing in a shoot-out – if you are afraid, if you are quiet – so it’s difficult to train for that.
“I won one game against