Ancelotti candid about his fears for the health of former players
‘I cannot say my job was safe when I played’ says Everton boss
Carlo Ancelotti: “Players of the past have problems, not only dementia but with a lot of other things.” Photograph: Paul Ellis/EPA
Carlo Ancelotti has said he fears not only developing dementia in later life but also motor neurone disease as a consequence of treatment he received as a player in Italy.
The Everton manager made the frank admission while backing calls for more research into links between dementia and football.
The 61-year-old, a key midfielder in the great Milan team that dominated European football in the late 1980s, admitted players of his generation were also anxious about possible links between MND and treatments they were given to recover from injury.
He cited the example of former teammate Stefano Borgonovo, who died in 2013 aged 49 and campaigned against doping in football after being diagnosed with what is also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Ancelotti said: “The more research they do for this is welcome. Forty years ago, when I played, there was not the same control as the players have now. Players of the past have problems, not only dementia but with a lot of other things.
“Stefano Borgonovo died from ALS . . . Until now I didn’t have problems but of course I am worried. The fact that I had six surgeries on my knees means something went wrong when I played. The fact that I had surgery on my cervical spine means something went wrong.
“But that was the past. We have to work for the future of the players playing now and fortunately things have improved a lot on the physical aspect and prevention. Now players are doing a safe job. I cannot say my job was safe when I played.”
Ancelotti revealed he is checked every year for any illnesses related to his playing days. “Apart from my knees, in every other aspect I am okay, fortunately. I feel healthy. I cannot run as I want to, but that’s it.”