Jose Mourinho left Real Madrid and in 2013 Carlo Ancelotti received a call from the hierarchy of Los Blancos to manage the side, which was struggling to win the Champions League for more than a decade. Mourinho received a new bunch of young talents during a transition period and fixed the team during his tenure, but the Champions League title was not visiting Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti holding the Champions League Trophy at Lisbon in 2014. Image Courtesy: Marca
Carlo Ancelotti holding the Champions League Trophy at Lisbon in 2014. Image Courtesy: Marca

Then started the inner problems, which paved the way for Ancelotti.

In the 2013-14 season, Ancelotti turned things around for Real Madrid.

The La Decima was won.

Ancelotti, who is the current coach of Everton, gave an interview to Sky Italia.

Here are the excerpts:

The Real Madrid story

The team had some problems in the past years when I arrived there.

The fact that they were not able to win the Champions League for 12 years was like an obsession for them because Real Madrid was used to winning a lot of Champions Leagues.

Carlo Ancelotti with Florentino Perez during the Presentation. Image Courtesy: Telegraph UK
Carlo Ancelotti with Florentino Perez during the Presentation. Image Courtesy: Telegraph UK

You don’t have to build a team around Cristiano Ronaldo and as I said with Zidane, you have to put them in the more comfortable way on the pitch. I don’t think you have to build strict tactics with this player defensively because there are players who are more involved in the attacking phase and there are players who have to be involved more in the defensive phase.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlo Ancelotti. Image Courtesy: Bleacher Report
Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlo Ancelotti. Image Courtesy: Bleacher Report

Of course, they have to work together because the team is the most important part of the game, but strikers like Ronaldo who are able to score every single game, you don’t have to give too much information defensively.

It is the easiest way to be a manager, to manage a fantastic player because they are professional, they are serious, they have personality, they are motivated, so it is the easiest way.

Sergio Ramos also has fantastic quality.

Sergio Ramos and Carlo Ancelotti. Image Courtesy: Varzesh11
Sergio Ramos and Carlo Ancelotti. Image Courtesy: Varzesh11

I think his best quality he has is not tactically, it’s not technically, it’s character and the personality that he has and the ability he has to motivate the people around him, like his team-mates. Ramos during that period was important for this, he was always at the top when the game was important and in the key moment of the games.

Ancelotti on fitting Zinedine Zidane in the Juventus set-up

Zidane is the first player who gave me the possibility to change the system and play in a different way. So, when I had Zidane, in the first year at Juventus, I played with a system of 3-4-1-2, having Del Piero and Inzaghi upfront and Zidane a little bit behind.

Zinedine Zidane in action while playing for Juventus. Image Courtesy: FIFA
Zinedine Zidane in action while playing for Juventus. Image Courtesy: FIFA

In the second year, I played with a back four but keeping two strikers in front and one number 10, like Zidane. Zidane changed my idea of football. I was so focused before Juventus on 4-4-2 and after with Zidane, I changed, I wanted to put him in the best position for him, to let him be more comfortable on the pitch.

Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane in the dugout of Real Madrid, 2014. Image Courtesy: AS
Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane in the dugout of Real Madrid, 2014. Image Courtesy: AS

The experience at Juventus was good in my opinion because I understood really well how the club has to work for the manager, so the club gave me a lot of support in this.

It doesn’t matter if they fired me at the end of the second year, until the last day in Juventus, I understood how the club has to work for the manager, to support them, to help them in front of the players, to give the manager the power that he needs to manage the players.