Carlo Ancelotti breaks silence on claims that Xabi Alonso could succeed him as Real Madrid manager
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has lavished praise on Xabi Alonso's coaching credentials amid the Bayer Leverkusen boss being linked with replacing him.
Ancelotti has just under a year left on his contract with Madrid and is expected to take over the Brazilian national team next year. Los Blancos are on the lookout for a successor and Alonso has been identified as an option.
Reports claim that Real Madrid have decided that the Leverkusen manager is the coach to replace Ancelotti. The Spanish tactician has overseen an impressive reign at the Bay Arena, 23 of 44 games. His side currently sit second in the Bundesliga table with four wins from five league games.
Ancelotti has spoken highly of Alonso as a worthy future appointment at the Bernabeu. He said (via transfer expert Fabrizio Romano):
“I have coached Xabi, he’s doing a great job at Bayer. He understands the game well, that’s why he’s very good coach”.
The Madrid boss also expressed his desire for Alonso's former teammates Raul and Alvaro Arbeloa to also be in the Bernabeu dugout:
“I wish Xabi Alonso, Raul, and Alvaro Arbeloa to become Real Madrid's manager one day. I love all of them."
Alonso signed a new two-year deal with Leverkusen in August, keeping him tied to the Bundesliga side until 2026. However, the lure of returning to Real Madrid may be too hard to turn down for the Spaniard.
He became an icon during his five years at Madrid in his playing days, winning two UEFA Champions Leagues, one La Liga title, and two Copa del Reys. He made 82 appearances under Ancelotti, scoring three goals and providing seven assists.
Xabi Alonso commented on speculation that he could replace Ancelotti at Real Madrid
Alonso expressed his affection for Ancelotti last season when speculation grew over the Italian coach's future. Real Madrid were struggling in the league and eventually lost out to Barcelona in the La Liga title race.
The Liverpool legend admitted that it was difficult to speak about links to the Madrid job due to his connection with Ancelotti. He said (via TheRealChamps):
“It is very difficult to speak about rumours and possibilities. I have a very great personal affection for Carlo for everything I experienced with him, for his personality because all the players who have played under him have kept a great memory."
Alonso urged Real Madrid to go on and win the Champions League for a second time under the Italian:
“He is a very special coach in a very special club with a very big challenge, which is to be able to repeat the Champions League. Hopefully they can achieve it. I would be very happy for him, but that’s as much as I can say.”
However, Los Blancos did not win the Champions League, crashing out in the semifinals to eventual winners Manchester City. Ancelotti's side did win the Copa del Rey though.