Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti interview: ‘Osimhen? We substituted Benzema with Bellingham’
The coach was interview by Italian media and spoke about his career, Italian football, racism, Mourinho, Saudi Arabia and banning phones at Real Madrid.
Real Madrid boss, Carlo Ancelotti, was interviewed by Italian media outlet, Radio Tv Serie A, where he was quizzed about many things including his future, his career so far, Saudi Arabia, Mourinho and more.
On his career: I am still enjoying myself, I love working every day with the players and find new solutions for the players. I have the same passion as in the first year. Football’s evolution forces you to adapt, what changes is age.
His future: I will train until June 1, but I don’t know what year. 2026? I still haven’t decided.
Ancelotti as a footballer: You experience football much better by playing. My years at Roma were a great experience. The best story is about a Lazio-supporting taxi driver, who picked me up from the station and took me to the club HQ. I wanted to pay, and when the fans saw this they said ‘the Roma players don’t pay’... before there weren’t PlayStations or mobile phones, the relationships were different, friendships were stronger. Now it’s all a lot more professional. The relationship I continue to have with my teammates from back then is very strong, it’s a true friendship.
Banning mobile phones: The player must be responsible and know when and not to use their mobile phone. I don’t like imposing anything, I never did it. You have to intervene when it’s excessive, but the professional must understand on their own.
The state of AS Roma: Roma have won little during their history, and when it happens, it’s special. Their fans give off a positive energy, the relationship they have with Mourinho doesn’t surprise me. He’s a great coach and built a special connection. His presence increased the value of the team, although football today depends on investment.
Did you receive an offer from Saudi Arabia?: I didn’t receive any direct offers. I’m fine here, everyone knows that.
José Mourinho: We see each other very little, we meet when there’s a game between us and we have mutual respect from a distance. Has he asked me for forwards? No.
How AC Milan are doing: Winning the Champions League again is difficult, competing against the teams with more economic power than you is tough. You have to plan for the long term: now the team has improved the quality in their squad.
Brahim Díaz’s evolution and form: He has improved a lot. He still has quality, but he’s a lot more dangerous and he has grown physically.
Paolo Maldini: A Milan fan can’t not love Paolo, above all from someone like myself who played alongside him and had him as captain when I coached. It’s a shame that a figure like him has left the club. With the knowledge he has, he can do whatever he wants in football.
Silvio Berlusconi: He was an innovator. I met him in the 80′s, he had ideas nobody else had. He was always close to us, the experience with him as a player and coach was fundamental. Everyone thought it was a utopia, and in the end he managed to make Milan win it all.
The state of Serie A: In Spain it’s looked at with interest, there are huge teams. I don’t know who will win the league. Napoli, AC Milan, Inter and Juventus are all in the top bracket and then you have Roma, Lazio, Atalanta and Fiorentina. Juventus, with no European competition, could well be dangerous.
Napoli: The generational change that they did was very strong. They signed great players and have one of the best forwards in Europe: Osimhen. [Real Madrid and I] never thought about signing the Nigerian, within the club we think the arrival of Jude Bellingham covers the absence of Benzema, without creating too many parallels.
His goodbye to the Napoli fans: What happened happens when there is no confidence between the parties: club, player and coach. When that happens, it’s best to say goodbye. It doesn’t affect me, these are things that happen.
Spaletti becoming Italy coach: I think it’s the right decision, he is experienced and has quality to fight in the Euros and World Cup. It won’t be easy, Italy lacks top level players, but now important players are coming through and I hope Luciano does a fantastic job.
National Team management: What I like doing is working every day.
Bellingham’s early days at Real Madrid: He’s a serious, mature boy with quality. What he’s doing doesn’t surprise those who know him, what’s surprising is that he’s only 20-years-old.
Objectives for 23/24: Compete in every competition we play in, like always.
Racism in sport: You can’t live alongside this problem, you have to try and stop it. I have to say that, in the first few games we’ve played, the atmosphere towards Vinicius has been better and there weren’t any insults. I hope it doesn’t happen, but there are rules so that the referee can stop the game. What I do in those cases is show him that I support him in moments that are sad for everyone.
Different coaching styles: There is no other coach that is like me. I really like the coaches that bet on a style, like Guardiola, De Zerbi or Arteta, the ones that motivate their players, like Bordalás, who I met and is a really nice guy. I like his way of motivating the team. There isn’t a coach I prefer over the others.
Ronaldo Nazário or Cristiano: The Brazilian was the strongest of his generation; the Portuguese was, with Messi, the best of his. Coaching both was a pleasure.
Thoughts on the 22/23 Champions League final?: I didn’t support anyone. It was an even game with a great performance from Inter against a magnificent City side.
Retirement?: What I like doing is being a grandfather, a husband, a tourist and a fan. Football has given me so much, above all the pleasure of working in what always makes me happy.