Ancelotti: new Real Madrid coach's presentation, press conference

William Allen

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Ancelotti: new Real Madrid coach's presentation, press conference

Ancelotti presented as Real Madrid head coach: as it happened

Some selected quotes:

Zinedine Zidane: “Everyone has to be thankful to Zizou. What he did [as Real Madrid coach] was incredible."

Sergio Ramos’ contract situation: “I’ve only just arrived and I’ll have to talk about that with the club in the coming days. I couldn't imagine a Real Madrid without Ancelotti, but it happened."

Eden Hazard: “He hasn’t reached his potential here, but I think he will.”

Gareth Bale: “If he's motivated, he can have a great season.”

Goals: “Benzema needs to score 50, not 30. Vinicius needs to score more goals. We need more goals from the rest."

Real Madrid return: “When the president called me, I had no doubts.”

Backroom team: "We’re going to decide the coaching staff in the coming days."

Signings: “We haven’t had time to talk about that, it’s all happened so fast."

Squad: "We have a quality squad, [but] we have to cut it down a bit."

Another picture of Ancelotti putting pen to paper:

Ancelotti poses with the new Real Madrid shirt:

Some selected quotes:

Zinedine Zidane: “Everyone has to be thankful to Zizou. What he did [as Real Madrid coach] was incredible."

Sergio Ramos’ contract situation: “I’ve only just arrived and I’ll have to talk about that with the club in the coming days. I couldn't imagine a Real Madrid without Ancelotti, but it happened."

Eden Hazard: “He hasn’t reached his potential here, but I think he will.”

Gareth Bale: “If he's motivated, he can have a great season.”

Goals: “Benzema needs to score 50, not 30. Vinicius needs to score more goals. We need more goals from the rest."

Real Madrid return: “When the president called me, I had no doubts.”

Backroom team: "We’re going to decide the coaching staff in the coming days."

Signings: “We haven’t had time to talk about that, it’s all happened so fast."

Squad: "We have a quality squad, [but] we have to cut it down a bit."

And with that, Ancelotti's first press conference as Real Madrid's new head coach is over!

Criticism: “Everyone knows the aim at Real Madrid: to win LaLiga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. That’s the aim. Criticism is normal. This is the most followed club in the world. Coaching the biggest club in the world is a huge responsibility and at times things don’t go as you’d like. But the main thing is to respect people: the players, the coaches, the journalists…”

Allegri and Conte: “They’re coaches who have won things at big clubs. Conte has won Serie A. Allegri has won a lot at Juventus. Comparing me with these two friends of mine is nice to hear.”

Cristiano: “He hasn’t sent me a message.”

Did you understand what Zidane was saying in his open letter and did you have doubts about returning to Real Madrid after reading it? “I don’t know the relationship Zidane had with the president, so it’s hard for me to answer that question. But when the president called me, I had no doubts.”

Interested in signing Cristiano Ronaldo? “I have a lot of affection for Cristiano, but I don’t like talking about players at other clubs. He has a contract at Juventus and I don’t think it’s right to talk about him if he has a contact with another club. I’m very happy to see him still doing very well at Juventus, scoring lots of goals.”

Zidane's open letter: “I’ve been in football for 40 years. In football, people talk. The players play football, the journalists report what happens. That’s all normal. I know this world very well, That’s what it’s like. We have to accept what happens. We have to respect everyone who works in this world: coaches, players, journalists.”

Hazard: “He’s a top player. He’s had problems - in his first year here he had a bad injury and hasn’t reached his potential here, but I think he will.”

Zidane: “What can I say about Zizou? He won three Champions Leagues and did a great job, and did a great job right to the end. He left and then came back, and did everything very well. Everyone has to be thankful to Zizou. What he did was incredible. I haven’t spoken to him yet, because it’s all happened so quickly. But I’m sure we’ll talk.”

Squad capable of winning silverware: “We can challenge for trophies with this squad. With this squad, without the players out on loan, Madrid got to the semi-finals of the Champions League and challenged for the league title.”

Bale: “Gareth didn’t play a lot in the Premier League last season, but he scored a lot of goals. He was very effective when he go this chance in recent games. I know him very well, and if he's motivated, he can have a great season. I have no doubts about that.”

Lack of goals: “Benzema needs to score 50, not 30. Vinicius needs to score more goals. We need more goals from the rest. The players I have have a lot of quality. I’m delighted to get the chance to coach Benzema again. He has improved a lot, he is assuming more responsibility. There are young players with big futures. it’s not only about signing players - it’s also about the rest scoring more goals.”

Sergio Ramos future: "It’s clear that Ramos is a very important player for Real Madrid. He has been a big part of the cub’s successes. We're going to talk with the player, but I don't know the details [of Ramos’ contract talks] because I’ve been in Liverpool."

Quality squad: "I think we have a very good squad, with a blend of experience - Kroos, Modric, Ramos, Bale, Benzema... - and a group of very young players with a lot of quality - Rodrygo, Vinicius, Valverde… Players who have shown the quality they have. So we have a quality squad. We have to cut it down a bit, and we’ll have to see how we do that."

Make-up of Ancelotti's backroom team: "We’re going to decide the coaching staff in the coming days."

Veterans in the squad: “I have lot of affection for Bale, for Isco, for Marcelo… They’re Real Madrid players and that motivates them. The only judge is the pitch. They have to train well and show the coach that they can play for Real Madrid.”

Signings: “We haven’t had time to talk about that, it’s all happened so fast […]. I’ve only said thanks to the president because it’s a big deal for me to be back here.”

Squad: “I haven’t spoken to the club about that yet. I know the squad well, I know the young players and the players coming back from loans. We have a lot of options. I want to assess everyone calmly. The first time I was here four young players from Castilla came in - Morata, Nacho, Casemiro and Jesé - and they did very well. And Carvaajhal came in from Bayer Leverkusen. Thanks to the enthusiasam of the young players and the experience of the older players, we did well.”

Playing style: “The tradition, the history of this club is try to play attacking football. I think football has changed in these five years. It’s now more intense, more organised, but the idea is always the same at Real Madrid. The football has to be attacking and spectacular.”

Sergio Ramos: “I’ve only just arrived and I’ll have to talk about that with the club in the coming days. I haven’t yet had the chance to talk about the players’ futures. I couldn't imagine a Real Madrid without Ancelotti, but it happened."

Responsibility: “Coaching Real Madrid is a big responsibility, but a nice one. You’re in charge of the best club in the world.”

Ancelotti: “I’m really happy to return here, to a club that i feel is my home. I’m going to put all my energy into doing what we did in the past. I have great memories of the two years i had here - the trophies, the relationship with everyone"

Out comes Ancelotti - press conference underway!

Real Madrid's director of institutional relations, Emilio Butragueño, welcomes Ancelotti: "It's a real plaesure to welcome you back to Real Madrid - you know that this is your home. Real Madrid and all its fans have so much affection for you, because your first spell at the club brought many moments of joy, most notably the sought-after 10th European Cup"

Ancelotti and Pérez shake on it

I'd have liked to see a fist-bump.

Here's a picture of Ancelotti signing on as Real Madrid boss:

"Good luck to Ancelotti - he's going to need it"

Former Real Madrid president Ramón Calderón, a chap who isn't known for heaping the club's current administration with praise, has tweeted the following welcome message to the Italian: "Good luck to Carlo Ancelotti on his return to our club. He's going to need it."

Ancelotti signs on the dotted line

Real Madrid TV have just shown images of Carlo Ancelotti signing his three-year contract as Los Blancos' head coach, before posing for a handshake with club president Florentino Pérez.

As soon as we have pictures of that, we'll share them with you.

"Together again"

Following confirmation of his appointment as Real Madrid's head coach, Carlo Ancelotti took to Twitter not only to bid Everton adieu, but also to offer a message to Los Blancos' fans, posting a photo of the Madrid badge with the words "together again".

ALFREDO RELAÑO

Florentino uses Ancelotti to scrub out Zidane's exit

Here's former AS editor Alfredo Relaño's reaction to Real Madrid's appointment.

"Florentino has a certain authoritarian tendency," Relaño writes. "He tends to prefer those who, like Mourinho, don't get on with the players but are stern bosses - but it has been proven that the other ‘type’ is the one that works best for Los Blancos."

Relaño's opinion piece in full

Ancelotti

Roncero: Ancelotti appointment "the best news the Real Madrid fans could receive"

Writing in this newspaper, here's what AS journalist and number-one Real Madrid fan Tomás Roncero had to say about Carlo Ancelotti's return to the Bernabéu:

"The best news the Real Madrid fans could receive after spending a few days of frustration because of the departure of Zinedine Zidane, the magician who delivered three straight Champions Leagues, was learning that Carlo Ancelotti, the coach who La Décima, is returning home. When Cadena SER’s Antón Meana first reported this on Monday night, I admit I didn’t really believe it - not because I didn’t like the idea of the Italian returning to the club, but, unfortunately, I felt there was no chance of his time at the club including a part two. But thankfully, the club have moved quickly to seal a deal with Carletto and with Everton that leaves everybody happy.

"Ancelotti’s return brings back unforgettable memories of that night in Lisbon, and he comes with that Del Bosque-esque character that has always blended well with Real Madrid’s traditional values and that made such a good impression on the Madrid supporters. There are no drawbacks to Ancelotti, despite his detractors’ determination to say he was too soft on the players. As he himself once said, 'A soft touch doesn’t win three European Cups.'

"The option of Conte terrified me (he seemed to me like a low-cost Mourinho), hiring Pochettino meant waging a war with PSG that would have hit Madrid’s hopes of signing Mbappé, and as for Raúl, who one day will take his place in the Bernabéu dugout - it’s best he continues to gain experience with Castilla until his time comes. Ancelotti guarantees a smooth transition that will make the shadow cast by Zidane less traumatic."

(Photo: AFP/Frederic J. BROWN)

Allegri

Who else was in the running for the Real Madrid job?

Ancelotti certainly doesn't seem to have been Real Madrid's first choice to step into Zidane's shoes. Los Merengues had originally been lining up Massimiliano Allegri to take over, only for Allegri to opt instead to return to Juventus in place of the sacked Andrea Pirlo.

Former Inter coach Antonio Conte was also considered, but Madrid were put off by his demands, both in terms of salary and investment in the transfer market.

Los Blancos had also cast admiring glances in the direction of Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino, but when push came to shove were reluctant to cheese off the French club's owners and, in the process, endanger their planned summer swoop for PSG striker Kylian Mbappé.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid legend Raúl, who is currently in charge of the club's 'B' team, was a serious candidate for the Bernabéu dugout, but in the end the Madrid hierarchy felt it was too soon to promote the 43-year-old.

(Photo: MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP)

Ancelotti sacked in 2015 after second season brings no major silverware

In May 2015, Ancelotti was sacked by Real Madrid after failing to win a major trophy in his second season in charge - despite overseeing a sensational 22-game winning streak between September 2014 and January 2015.

Amid whisperings that Ancelotti was too chummy with the players and didn’t train them hard enough, club president Florentino Pérez decided the team needed "fresh impetus" and Rafa Benítez was brought in as the hard taskmaster who would whip those pesky slackers into shape. He lasted seven months.

Now, having won three Champions Leagues and two LaLigas under a coach who also had a close relationship with his players, Madrid appear to have considered Ancelotti's avuncular style to be a plus point; a coaching trait that will help ensure a smooth transition in the dugout. Ah, the vicissitudes of football.

Ancelotti rejoins the club he led to Champions League glory in 2014

Ancelotti returns to a club where, between 2013 and 2015, he won four trophies, most notably the 2013/14 Champions League. That European Cup triumph, the third of his coaching career, ended a 12-year wait for Real Madrid’s 10th continental crown, and was the first of four Champions Leagues won by Los Blancos over a five-year period.

Under Ancelotti, Madrid also won the 2013/14 Copa del Rey - thanks to THAT galloping Gareth Bale run at Mestalla - and the 2014 UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

Further reading: What trophies has Ancelotti won throughout his coaching career?

Ancelotti with Zidane

Ancelotti: "I have been presented with an unexpected opportunity"

Ancelotti, who returns for a second spell as Real Madrid boss, was the surprise choice announced yesterday by the club, who have been looking for a replacement for Zinedine Zidane since (and, let's face it, well before) the Frenchman confirmed his resignation as Madrid boss last week. The Italian has agreed a three-year contract.

He leaves Premier League club Everton, who he had led to a 10th-place finish last season, for what he has described as an "unexpected opportunity”.

"I would like to thank the Board of Directors, the players, and the Evertonians for the tremendous support they have all given me during my time at the Club," Ancelotti said in a statement released by Everton last night. "I have complete respect for everyone associated with Everton and hope they can achieve the exciting opportunities they have in front of them.

"While I have enjoyed being at Everton I have been presented with an unexpected opportunity which I believe is the right move for me and my family at this time."

(Photo: DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP)

Ancelotti unveiling to take place at Ciudad Real Madrid

Given that the Bernabéu is currently a construction site, we're not going to get the customary ceremony in the presidential box - instead, Ancelotti is to be unveiled at the club's Ciudad Real Madrid training ground, where Los Blancos have been playing their home games for the past year or so. What with covid and all that, Ancelotti's press conference will, as is the norm at the moment, be a Zoom affair.

Ancelotti unveiling: welcome

Hello! Welcome to our live coverage of Carlo Ancelotti’s unveiling as Real Madrid’s new head coach. As per Madrid’s statement yesterday, Ancelotti is to speak to the media at 6 pm local time (12 pm EDT), having signed his contract and posed for photos with the club’s president, Florentino Pérez, at an unspecified time shortly before then. Real Madrid TV’s coverage of the event begins at 5:30 pm (11:30 am EDT), so it seems a safe bet that’s when the ball will get rolling.

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