Crespo on Ancelotti being his mentor and why ‘beautiful’ Chelsea can succeed under Lampard
Hernan Crespo backing ‘beautiful’ Chelsea to succeed under Frank Lampard as the former Blues striker hails ‘father figure’ Carlo Ancelotti and urges England to believe they can win the World Cup
- Hernan Crespo has labelled Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti a ‘father figure’
- He believes England can win the World Cup if they can believe in their ability
- Crespo also heaps praise on ‘beautiful’ Chelsea under old friend Frank Lampard
- Argentina legend says he loved his time in England, however brief, at Chelsea
Former Chelsea hero Hernan Crespo has labelled his old boss Carlo Ancelotti a ‘father figure’ and backed the current Blues youth revolution to thrive under his one-time team-mate Frank Lampard.
In a wide-ranging interview, Crespo speaks fondly of the people he met during his time in west London, where he played for two seasons – one either side of a loan to AC Milan – before moving on loan again and then permanently to Inter Milan.
Hernan Crespo (right) has labelled his former AC Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti as a ‘father figure’
Ancelotti (centre left) is now manager of Everton following a spell in Serie A with Napoli
Well-known by Chelsea fans for a two-year spell with them in which he won the Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield, Ancelotti has enjoyed a long and illustrious managerial career and Crespo was full of praise for him.
‘Carlo is like a father to me,’ he said. ‘Carlo is a passionate person; he is one of the coaches that helped to introduce me into Europe and helped me to establish myself. In Italy, he explained to me the way you must behave as a professional – on and off the pitch.
‘This was a very important part of my career. When I watch his matches for Everton, I want him to win because he’s a great person and a great manager.’
Another great manager fighting in the top half of the Premier League table is his old Blues team-mate Lampard, who is in the hunt for a top-four finish in his first season in charge.
‘Frankie now as the manager of Chelsea – I think it’s beautiful,’ Crespo admits. ‘Chelsea now have a good mix of experienced and young players. I think they have started to build something different than before.
Ancelotti (left) talks Crespo through his tactics during a training session at Paris Saint-Germain
Crespo (left) has also hailed Frank Lampard (right) and says Chelsea can succeed under him
‘They spent a lot of money on building young players in their academy, who now have the opportunity to play. I think it’s the vision of the club now – to try and have young players in the first XI.
‘As well as Frank, John Terry showed great leadership inside the changing room. Both were great leaders and it doesn’t surprise me now they are both coaches.’
Although Crespo didn’t play in England for long, only featuring in two campaigns for the Blues before heading back to Italy until the conclusion of his career, he still has fond memories of life at the Bridge.
During his time at the club, he won the Premier League in 2005-06 and also picked up the Community Shield.
Lampard is leading a youth revolution with the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek at the Bridge
Tammy Abraham is another of the young stars playing under Lampard at Chelsea now
‘I was very comfortable in Italy and it was my dream to play in Serie A, but when I had the chance to join the Premier League I said, “wow” and for Chelsea, “wow”.
‘I remember Luca Vialli and Ruud Gullit playing for them and I thought that Chelsea would be a great opportunity for me,’ he adds. ‘When I joined Chelsea, my experience was unbelievable.
‘The way English people understand football and live football is incredible. It’s not completely different from Argentina, where the atmosphere in the stadiums is also amazing.’
And it is not only the domestic game that interests Crespo on English shores, as he is also keeping a keen eye on the national team and is backing them to succeed with their current crop of players.
Crespo has heaped praise on Harry Kane and says England can win things if they have belief
Ex-Chelsea star Crespo is currently the manager of Defensa y Justicia in his native Argentina
With the likes of Harry Kane leading the line, and a wealth of young talent coming through, Argentina legend Crespo says all England need now is belief.
‘England now understand that they can compete with the best teams,’ he said. ‘I think they had a great World Cup in 2018. They maybe need a little bit more pushing to believe, to believe more in themselves to reach a final.
‘There’s a lot of great players – I like one of them a lot, Harry Kane. I think he’s the best striker in England now and shows good leadership. England just need to believe in themselves.’
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