Real Madrid have made a fabulous start to the campaign since Carlo Ancelotti returned as head coach this summer. They are at the top of the La Liga table, having amassed 36 points from 15 league games.
In addition to having a seven-point cushion at the top of the league table, Real Madrid are also going strong in the UEFA Champions League. Los Blancos have qualified for the knockout stages in Europe, racking up four wins and one loss from five games.
Carlo Ancelotti returned to the Spanish capital to take charge of Real Madrid for a second time. The reputed manager is loved for guiding the Spanish giants to their 10th Champions League title back in his first stint in 2014.
Many great players have graced Real Madrid with their presence over the years
Los Blancos undoubtedly have a lot of quality players in their current squad. However, there are few footballers who could have taken this team to another level. Without further ado, let's take a look at five former Real Madrid stars Carlo Ancelotti would have loved in his current team:
#5 Roberto Carlos
Roberto Carlos was one of the most skillful footballers of his era. Blessed with a dangerous left-foot, the Brazilian had the ability to bend the ball to his will while being efficient at his defensive duties.
Carlos etched his name on the history books during his tenure at Real Madrid. He helped the club win four league titles and three Champions League titles. Besides being a force to be reckoned with on the left flank, the left-back was capable of producing match winners out of nowhere.
The current Madrid squad do have some talented left-backs in David Alaba and Ferland Mendy. However, none of them come close to matching Carlos' technique and ferociousness. They also have Marcelo but he is in the twilight of his career and doesn't feature regularly now.
#4 Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos' famous leap in the 92nd minute in the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid made Ancelotti's first stint a super hit. The centre-back was known for his crunching tackles and was a dominant presence at the heart of Madrid's defense for 16 years.
In addition to his defensive prowess, Ramos had an intense character and a strong mentality which elevated his legacy. Under his captaincy, Real Madrid went on to win three consecutive Champions League titles, a remarkable feat in football history.
Following his departure in the summer to PSG, Los Blancos are without their great leader. Ancelotti would surely have loved the presence of his former warrior in the current team.
#3 Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo had a stellar campaign under Ancelotti during the Italian's first stint with the club. The greatest goalscorer in Real Madrid's history helped Los Blancos reach the pinnacle of club football. The Portuguese superstar was undoubtedly the talisman for the Spanish giants during his nine-year stint. He scored a whopping 450 goals in just 438 appearances.
Ronaldo was a nightmare for defenders due to his goalscoring instincts, pace and dribbling, among other traits. The 36-year-old helped Real Madrid win two La Liga titles and four Champions League titles, among other notable honors. He also managed to win four Ballon d'Or awards for his exploits in the Spanish capital.
Although Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr. have been in fine form this campaign, Ronaldo is in a league of his own. Under Ancelotti's tutelage, the Portuguese formed a dangerous attacking trio 'BBC' with Gareth Bale and Benzema. The trio propelled Los Blancos to their 10th European crown.
Ronaldo, being the biggest asset during Ancelotti's previous stint, is surely a big name on this list.
Carlo Ancelotti's love story with attacking midfielders is well known, as evident from James Rodriguez's presence in his tactical setup. Guti, one of Real Madrid's most criminally underrated players, fits the bill perfectly.
With 77 goals and 90 assists in over 500 appearances, Guti was a creative fulcrum of the Real Madrid side at times. The Spaniard was blessed with immaculate passing and slick movements, often rendering the opposition defender clueless.
Despite his supreme talents with the ball, Guti's eccentricity was a point of criticism during his tenure. However, Ancelotti would have absolutely extracted the best out of the midfielder considering how he prefers an attacking midfielder in his team. Guti, on the other hand, could have found consistency under Ancelotti.
#1 Zinedine Zidane
Arguably the greatest midfielder of the modern era, Zinedine Zidane personified grace and greatness when he was on the ball. The legendary Frenchman had the capability to do anything with the ball at his feet. This was evident from his majestic volley against Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 Champions League final.
Zidane possessed supreme tactical intelligence and technique, which made him torment opponent defenders with utter ease. During his five-year tenure with Real Madrid, the midfielder bagged 49 goals and provided 68 assists. But his impact cannot be measured with statistics.
Zidane worked as an assistant to Ancelotti at Real Madrid before the French genius went on to manage the club himself. He led Los Blancos to unprecedented glory. There is no doubt that the current boss would have loved Zidane as a player in the team.