Carlo Ancelotti values relationship with Real Madrid players over club president

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti says the relationship he has with his players is more important than the one with club president Florentino Perez.

Ancelotti has recently come under-fire for his team’s poor run of form, with the criticism of the Italian boss hitting its peak earlier this week after Madrid were defeated at home by Schalke 04 in the Champions League. Although the loss didn’t knock Madrid out of the competition, the team was constantly jeered by its home supporters throughout the contest and after the match as they were leaving the pitch.

The next day, it was reported Ancelotti was facing the sack should the manager produced another “debacle” against Barcelona in El Clasico on March 22nd.

However, club president Florentino Perez held an impromptu press conference on Thursday to back Ancelotti and also ask fans rally behind the players and coaches during the team’s difficult period.

It has been pointed out that Perez gave a similar public backing to former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, before sacking the Portuguese tactician at the end of the season. Many in the press feel even though the president is backing Ancelotti for the time being, he intends to sack the Italian at the end of the year.

But people have short memories. Mourinho would have likely kept his job in Spain – despite all the trouble he caused – if he had maintained a relationship with his Real Madrid players. The manager lost respect in the dressing room and battled with veteran players, which ultimately led to a mutiny and his departure from the club.

Today, in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ancelotti shared his insight on the team’s dynamic in Madrid and spoke of his relationship with his players.

“The relationship with the players is what’s most important,” Ancelotti told the Italian publication. “It matters a lot more than the one with the president. If there is no good feeling with the guys, you are a dead man.”

“Someone calls it friendship, I simply call it respect, although I like to laugh and joke with them. The intelligent people know when it’s time to get serious.”

The job at Real Madrid is regarded as one of the toughest in football because of the amount of high-profile players and delicate egos in its dressing room. However, it can be argued that Ancelotti’s track record at previous clubs makes him the most qualified person to tackle the task of managing Real Madrid.

Earlier this season, Ancelotti came to the defense of Marcelo when the left-back was criticized by Brazil national team coach Dunga. Ancelotti also convinced Pepe to remain in Madrid after the defender requested a transfer following increasing scrutiny of his combative style of play.

“My history helps me from the start at a club,” Ancelotti added. “There is always great respect for what I have done, but then I am tested with the daily relationship with the group. I have to be consistent from the beginning to the end.”

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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