Didier Deschamps and Fernando Santos must keep their preparations simple as their players get ready for the biggest game of their careers when France take on Portugal in the Euro 2016 final, Carlo Ancelotti has warned.
Although his side didn’t achieve the desired outcome on the day, Ancelotti believes the coaches of France and Portugal can learn a lesson from iconic former AC Milan coach Sacchi.
“When a team reach the final of one of the great summer tournaments – a World Cup, or a European Championship – the chances are that your players will be exhausted, their minds reeling at what can be accomplished, and as a manager you can only try to keep it simple,” he wrote in his column for the Telegraph.
“In the build-up to the [World Cup 1994] final, Sacchi just talked to the players about their jobs, and what they had done well so far in the tournament. He talked about focusing on the strategy that we had developed in the preparation for the tournament and in the months before.
“There is something you have to accept as a manager: you can control everything apart from the result.
“What time do France have between their semi-final win over Germany in Marseille and Sunday's final? Three days’ rest. Portugal have one extra day. It is nothing. Nothing that will make a difference in terms of work that you can do on the training field.
“There is no time for high-intensity training or detailed preparation on the opposition – just rest, and clear minds for the biggest game of your life.
“There is no point, at this stage of the competition, trying to give the players lots of detailed information on the opposition. Why? They are tired, their bodies are aching, they are 90 minutes from greatness.
“They are not in the right frame of mind to be overloaded about all the strengths of the team they are about to play. They just need the basics. This is a final, I think we can take it as read that the opposition are going to be a good team."