INTERNATIONAL

Ancelotti admits: "I didn't want Higuaín to leave Real Madrid"

The Bayern Munich coach spoke to Tuttosport and was full of praise for the Argentine frontman: "He's the best 'No.9' in the world, alongside Luis Suárez and Lewandowski".

None of us has hit top form yet

Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti chatted to Tuttosport this week and among the topic he touched on were the team's aspirations in the Champions League, his previous job with Real Madrid... and why, is it had been up to him, he would never have allowed Gonzalo Higuaín to leave the Bernabéu...

Current state of play at Bayern: "I agree with what Allegri says. Right now we're not in our best moment - but nor are Juventus, Madrid, Man City, Atlético, or PSG...".

Would it actaully turn out better for Bayern to end second in the group? "It's true that some strange combinations could happen. But I remain convinced that it's always better to end in first place. It's better to close the group at the top of it and after that, see who the draw throws up".

Would you be happy to meet Juve in the semis? "Yes, I'd be more than happy to be in the semi-finals...".

El Pipita

At the start of the season you said you'd love to have Higuaín in your side... "I didn't want him to leave Real Madrid, but I couldn't convince him to stay. He wants to play regularly and he chose Napoli...".

Who are the best centre-forwards out there right now? "The 90 million euros which Juventus paid for Higuaín is money well spent, the best players cost money; and Higuaín is the best out-and-out No.9 in the world alongside Luis Suárez and Lewandowski".

No larking around

Lewandowski: "He's a very serious-minded player. He's not the kind who will be joking about - although he gets on really well with everyone in the dressing room. He's doing really well and scoring goals with startling regularity".

What is the one thing you will never forget about Florentino Pérez? "The decisive meeting we had which ended in me joining Real Madrid. He gave me the opportunity to coach a club like that".

Berlusconi, Florentino, Al-Khelaifi... what is the best present they've given you? "I haven't received any gifts from club presidents".

Impossible to choose

Could you select a team of the 11 best players you have worked with during your career? "Even if I picked a 4-2-4, a lot of players would be left out. I've been lucky, I've trained the best".

...apart from one - Messi: "He's an incredible talent, a truly great player. If for circumstances I ended up coaching him, I's be very happy. But if not, I won't resort to pulling my hair out (laughs)".