Carlo Ancelotti has expressed his belief that Liverpool made the "right choice" in appointing Jurgen Klopp as their permanent manager over him four-and-a-half years ago, as he prepares to come up against them for the first time as Everton boss.
Klopp was drafted in to succeed Brendan Rodgers in the Anfield hot seat in October 2015, having carved out a reputation as one of the finest coaches in Europe while at Borussia Dortmund.
The German tactician has since transformed Liverpool into Champions League winners and Premier League title contenders, while also adding UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup honours to the club's trophy cabinet.
Ancelotti has now revealed that he was also considered for the post at Anfield after Rodgers' departure, and even sat down with the Reds' owners for an interview.
The former Real Madrid head coach has no regrets over failing to land the job, however, and thinks that the board's original decision has been vindicated by Klopp's "fantastic work".
Speaking ahead of Everton's meeting with Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday, Ancelotti told a press conference: "I had a chat, after Real Madrid, with the Liverpool owners. They were looking for a new manager but I think they made the right choice with Jurgen.
“Jurgen is doing fantastic work in Liverpool. Well done. He has created a fantastic team and fantastic players.
"They are, in this moment, in really good shape, really good condition. But we must not think a lot about the opponent.”
The Toffees haven't beaten Liverpool at Anfield since 1999, but Ancelotti is eager for his side to buck that trend this weekend.
He added: “I know how Evertonians would like this and we have the same dream, to beat Liverpool at Anfield. It is a dream for us and an opportunity so we will try.
“Usually there is a big rivalry when you have two teams in the same city, it was the same in Milan and Rome when I was there and I know how the supporters are excited to beat their rival."
Ancelotti is the only man to have inflicted a defeat upon the Reds this season, with his Napoli team earning a 2-0 win at Stadio San Paolo in the Champions League back in September.
The Italian went on to explain how he masterminded Liverpool's downfall, emphasizing the importance of defending well and making the most of the ball when in possession.
"We played defensively, 4-4-2, deep, deep. But when we had the ball we tried to do something," Ancelotti said.
“It is the only possibility to compete in the game is to defend well but when you have the ball you have to try to do something.
“It is important to avoid the pressure they put in front, to have the opportunity to attack their lines and so the plan was this. I have no secrets to talk about this because Klopp knows better than me how we are going to play and I think it doesn't change.”