Carlo Ancelotti regrets the way his Paris Saint-Germain spell ended
Carlo Ancelotti says he harbours regrets over the acrimonious end to his spell as Paris Saint-Germain coach as he prepares to return to the French capital with Bayern Munich.
Ancelotti finished second in Ligue 1 in his first season in charge at the Parc des Princes before guiding the club to the first of four successive titles in the 2012-13 campaign.
However, Ancelotti went on to endure a strained relationship with his Qatari bosses, and he made clear his desire to leave Paris to succeed Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid in 2013.
Ahead of facing his former club with Bayern in Wednesday's Champions League group-stage game, Ancelotti told Le Figaro he hopes to move on from that episode of his PSG career and that he has since improved relations with the club's CEO and chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
"The end of my story with PSG, I didn't have a good attitude, because I wanted to leave and the club wanted me to stay at the head of the team," he said. "We had some small problems. It was a difficult period, and the relationship with Nasser was difficult, but time is going to sort all that out.
"Today, our contact is good. I sent him a message last year to congratulate him on the win over Barcelona in the Champions League, and another to wish him good luck in the return.
"I didn't have the courage to send him another one afterwards. That game marked the world of football [Barcelona won 6-1 to progress past PSG 6-5 on aggregate]. Something incredible happened, like with me in the 2005 Champions League final with AC Milan."
PSG were held goalless by Montpellier to bring to an end their 100 percent record seven matches into the French top-flight season on Saturday, while Bayern continued their stumbling start to the Bundesliga campaign, letting slip a two-goal lead to draw at home to Wolfsburg on Friday.
For Ancelotti, the summer arrivals at PSG of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, for an eventual total of around €400 million, mean his former club have hauled themselves up to the standard of his current one, but he says they still require some fine-tuning.
"With Neymar and Mbappe, Paris are looking for an identity. At Bayern, it's clear," he said. "For years now, guiding principles have been laid out, the identity is clear, which still isn't the case at PSG. But PSG is already at the level of the best. When you buy players at that price and of that standard, you have to have time and they have to get themselves into the team's mentality. That's their challenge.
"I'm not afraid. I have a lot of respect. The team has improved considerably and their front line has nothing to envy Bayern, Real or Barcelona. It's the same standard. But I think we're not just playing Mbappe and Neymar, but against a solid team, rich and dense. PSG cannot only be summed up by its three forwards [including Edinson Cavani]."
PSG's massive summer spending spree was underpinned by a desire to earn themselves a first Champions League crown, having been regular contenders but fallen short in recent seasons.
But Ancelotti, who twice won the trophy with Milan before also landing it with Madrid, had some words of caution.
"You can have the ambition of winning trophies, but that doesn't mean you will be there at the end," he said. "Competition is ferocious in Europe. And in addition to the usual big clubs, this year you can add Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool, whom I think can do well."
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman