By Tim Stannard
Carlo Ancelotti prepares for second sacking at Real Madrid after Zidane completes second walk-out
If Manuel Pellegrini is getting a little bored by life at Real Betis then all the Chilean needs to do is hang on maybe five years and he could be back at the helm of Real Madrid again.
Perhaps inspired by cheerfully incomprehensible Christopher Nolan movie, Tenet, Real Madrid have changed the game in terms of managerial selections and are now reversing the time flow. The start of the process was the reappointment of Zinedine Zidane in 2019, a year after he had left the club.
An exact repeat of Coach Zizou walking out on the club in 2021 seems to have triggered a complete time-flow switch and seen Real Madrid appoint a coach fired back in 2015 - Carlo Ancelotti - bypassing Santiago Solari, Julen Lopetegui and Rafa Benitez in the process.
Seeing as time is actively accelerating backwards in Real Madrid's world as the club becomes a palindrome, Jose Mourinho should be joining up in 2023 after being fired by Roma, with Pellegrini moving back to the Bernabeu in 2025 to be followed by Fabio Capello in 2027 for a third spell at the club.
In the meantime, Carlo Ancelotti will now have to refocus from the challenges of Everton - to finish in seventh or not finish in seventh, that is the question - and enjoy the pleasures to come at Real Madrid: welcoming back Gareth Bale, welcoming back Luka Jovic and welcoming back the endless questions of whether the club is in crisis. And welcoming back an eventual firing.
"I have been presented with an unexpected opportunity which I believe is the right move for me and my family at this time," claimed Ancelotti on the news of his appointment at Madrid on an optimistic three-year deal.
You can say that again. And again. And again.
Bolsonaro claims Copa America will be back in Brazil
In nine day's time, Copa America 2021 will be hosted in Brazil. That's according to the country's President, Jair Bolsonaro, who declared on Tuesday that "as far as it is up to me, and all the ministers, including the health minister, it is all decided."
All done then?
Not exactly. Other lawmakers in the country have protested that a Copa America in Brazil is ludicrous when the country is still dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic, popular protests against the president and only four of the country's states will be involved in hosting the tournament, which has jumped from being taking place in both Colombia and Argentina, to just Argentina and now Brazil.
Brazil's Supreme Court has requested more information on the decision to host Copa America after a suit was filed by the country's Workers' Party. One senator, Otto Alencar, has even put Neymar in an awkward position by appealing to the player to stand up against a president he has supported in the past - "don't agree to this. It is not this championship that we need to now compete in. We need to compete in the vaccination championship."
Wednesday will see a lot of managers and players in South America having to take a public stand on how to handle Copa America debacle. A set of 2022 World Cup qualifiers are kicking off on Thursday ahead of a Copa America that still doesn't have a fixed home just over a week away.
France set to show off super strike force with Benzema return
Euro 2020 is also just a week away and has had its own fair share of relocations and reorganizations but it seems to be fairly secure in kicking off next Friday in Italy. That's a start.
There may be a new undisputed favorite for the tournament by then with France set to test out its upgraded forward line of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Karim Benzema in a friendly against Wales on Wednesday.
Didier Deschamps has certainly made a hint in that direction, speaking ahead of today's match in Nice - "our performance will also depend on what everyone brings. The midfielders, the full-backs. I don't want to dissociate the three forwards from the rest of the team."
Meanwhile on the other side of the pitch, Gareth Bale could be making one of his final ever appearances on the football pitch if rumors of an imminent retirement are to believed. Although those rumors might also be reversed with the return of Carlo Ancelotti to Madrid, an experience that Bale might enjoy more than the thought of returning to Zidane.