Veteran Real Madrid players rallying around Carlo Ancelotti

Real Madrid’s veteran players are rallying around embattled manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Ancelotti has come under heavy criticism from fans and the media in recent weeks. Madrid have battled adversity and poor form in recent months, after rattling off a 22-match winning streak in all competitions and being crowned world champions in December.

Madrid’s recent performances have been so poor their home supporters have routinely jeered them at the Bernabeu. The dressing room appears to be broken and Ancelotti’s inability to unify the players has many believing the manager will be sacked at the end of the year, despite guiding Madrid to four titles in 2014.

Following their surprising 4-3 defeat to Schalke 04, Madrid returned to training and began the task of preparing for Levante. Veteran players have spoken to the squad and are rallying behind their under-fire manager.

Club captain Iker Casillas and vice-captain Sergio Ramos held a meeting with the team before speaking face-to-face with Ancelotti. The long-time Real Madrid servants professed their loyalty to the manager and reiterated they, and their teammates, had faith in Ancelotti’s ability to lead the club out of this difficult time.

Following the training session, Pepe gave an interview to Spanish radio where the defender backed Ancelotti and explained the current state of the dressing room.

“Ancelotti will continue, there’s no doubt about that,” Pepe told La COPE. “He’s a great coach and in a short space of time has brought us a lot of happiness.

“He’s not too lenient with us. He has a very distinguished curriculum and he demands a lot from us.”

“Getting whistled at the Bernabeu hurts, but our fans have every right to whistle us. They know when we have had a poor game and we have to recognize it as well.

“We’ve lost freshness since coming back from holidays; we need to be more focused and confront our games in the right way.

“Things will turn out for the better for us if we remain humble; by thinking that everything will turn out for us solely on our quality, we’re very mistaken.

“We need to work harder, attack, defend and suffer as a team. We’ll only win if we match our opponents for intensity. We have to confront every game as though it’s our last; we’ve hit rock bottom and now we have to react and get ourselves back up.”

Programming note: Real Madrid vs. Levante will be shown LIVE on Sunday starting at 4:00pm EST on beIN SPORTS and DishWorld.

 

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