What Carlo Ancelotti would write in an open letter to Real Madrid President Florentino Perez
Dear Florentino Perez,
I am Carlo Ancelotti. Initially, I thought that I wouldn’t need to introduce myself to you, but then Vicente del Bosque told me that you have a habit of forgetting the successful managers you sacked in your time as the president of Real Madrid.
The reason I am writing this letter to you is because you ought to know what I think about you, even though I am certain that you care more about your cat’s meows than my opinion. But I will share it nonetheless.
In your time as a president, Real Madrid had a huge of influx of star players, but not as many trophies to show for it. The only person who could be deemed as successful with Madrid under you was Del Bosque and you treated him as though he was the plague, getting rid of him. After him, only I could claim the Champions League trophy, and yet you sacked me a year later.
Under you, so many managers sat on the hot seat of Real Madrid, not one manager got more than 2 years except for Jose Mourinho and Del Bosque. When so many managers have failed, I guess one could say that that is not where the problem lies – it goes deeper, it goes to you.
Your lack of patience has cost Real Madrid the most. Real Madrid have had two presidents since the turn of the millennium – you and Ramon Calderon – and the astounding thing is that you are probably worse than your successor-cum-predecessor. And that is saying something.
You are the worst thing to have happened to Real Madrid since the club’s formation. Yes, you brought commercial success to the club – and that’s where you excel, commercialism, forming a brand name. You are a great businessman, genius even in that aspect, but you don’t know how a ‘football’ club runs – and that is what Real Madrid is, a football club. You run it like a business organization.
And the balance sheet and trophy counter don’t lie.
The only manager who ever got a say in the transfer market was Jose Mourinho. No matter what fans say about him, he solidified the core of the club – gave Real Madrid a backbone to build on. And that’s what happens when the manager is given freedom and time to implement his methods.
I, however, when it came to transfers, was given as much freedom as a prisoner in shackles is afforded. Or lack, thereof. I still managed to tweak a system to fit all of Benzema, Bale, Cristiano, Di Maria, Modric and Xabi Alonso – all of whom who were either offensive or creative players.
Barcelona, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Sergio Busquets, Javier Zanetti-Esteban Cambiasso-Thiago Motta, Sergio Busquets, John Obi Mikel and Luiz Gustavo. See the pattern? These are the teams and their holding midfielders that won the Champions League before Real Madrid. There is not one team that doesn’t have a defensive midfield player.
And then there is Real Madrid – where there wasn’t one player in midfield who could be classified as defensive. Sami Khedira might have played the final, but played little part in getting us there. It was a midfield of Xabi, Modric and Di Maria that broke the trend. Either Barcelona or Juventus are going to become the Champions of Europe this season, and both of them have at least one defensive player in their teams.
So basically, we did something out of the box. And fulfilling your fantasies all the while. But I am sure you don’t understand what I am trying to explain because you were the one who sold Makelele because he apparently couldn’t pass forward.
This is not FIFA or Football Manager that you can play all your creative players and keep winning. Heck, even in Football Manager that isn’t possible. Football is a game of the right balance between defense and attack, but you don’t seem to understand that.
It’s not that I didn’t have defensive midfielders to work with, but I had to keep in mind that your Galacticos get playing time or otherwise that wouldn’t please you either.
After winning the Champions League, you sold my most tactically important player, di Maria, to fit in James. James is a great talent, no doubt, but the crux of my system was sold and I rebuild the whole thing again. Added to that, injuries hampered our onslaught – yet you sacked me without considering any of these issues.
I hope that whoever is the next coach is – I am hearing it is going to be Rafa Benitez – gets a fair chance in the transfer market and doesn’t make the same mistakes as me, those of quietly accepting what you say as gospel and working with the players thrown at him rather than choosing his own players.
Though, I think that the chances of Dani Alves dressing up properly are more than that.