On Monday Carlo Ancelotti was fired as manager of Real Madrid after two seasons in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu.
[ RELATED: Ancelotti fired by Real ]
Just 12 months after delivering the UEFA Champions League title, Ancelotti was axed after finishing a close second to Barcelona in La Liga and falling to Juventus 3-2 on aggregate in the UCL semifinals. Hardly an awful season, right? But it was “Adios, Ancelotti” on Monday as Real now look to rebuild and dominate the domestic and European scenes.
The man who makes the big decisions at Real, president Florentino Perez, was asked be a journalist on Monday, during a hastily arranged press conference to announce Ancelotti’s firing, what the Italian manager had done to deserve being let go.
“I don’t know,” replied Perez.
That, in a nutshell, sums up the situation.
ProSoccerTalk’s own Kyle Bonn wrote passionately about Perez’s flaws after the firing of Ancelotti and it is hard to see the reason why Real got rid of the former AC Milan and Chelsea boss. Ancelotti, 55, was given a glut of stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric and was respected by his players after delivering the famed “La Decima” last season, which Real had been chasing for over a decade. Sure, they came up just short in La Liga and the UCL but that ladies and gents is the beauty of this beautiful game. Sometimes all the resources in the world can’t guarantee success.
Here’s a look back at Perez’s statement when he fired Ancelotti and the more you read it, the more you will struggle to understand exactly why they let him go.
“The Real Madrid board has decided to relieve Carlo Ancelotti of his duties. As you may all imagine, this has been a very difficult decision to make, but we have to decide what we think is best for the club,” Perez said. “Carlo Ancelotti has earned the affection of the whole managing board, including mine, and also of all Real Madrid fans. He is the man who brought us La Decima, but we believe now that Real Madrid needs a new impulse. We will tell everyone next week who our coach for the next season will be. We have reached a final decision very recently, just a few minutes ago, although we had been thinking about it throughout the whole season, like we do every year.”
So, Rafael Benitez is the red-hot favorite to take over at Real this Sunday when he is expected to announce his departure from Serie A side Napoli following the conclusion of the Italian season.
Benitez, in the nicest way possible, is a poor man’s Jose Mourinho. Not lauded for delivering free-flowing, beautiful soccer but able to organize teams to get results.
At times Real were unstoppable under Ancelotti. Under Benitez, if he does take over, they may well be more successful but substance will rule over style. The Madridistas are notoriously a hard bunch to please and even during Ancelotti’s reign the white hankies were always at arms length ready to be waved if a 4-0 victory over a Spanish minnow didn’t please the locals.
Is the grass always greener? Real may have just fired the one manager capable of handling the massive egos which exist throughout their squad.
Let’s see how this goes…