CARLO Ancelotti played down comparisons between himself and predecessor Jose Mourinho after being officially unveiled as Real Madrid’s new coach yesterday – and revealed he will be joined in the dugout by World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane.
Mourinho ended his three-year spell at Madrid in conflict with captain Iker Casillas and defender Pepe, and also criticised star forward Cristiano Ronaldo in one of his final interviews.
Ancelotti, when asked at his official presentation in the presidential box at the Bernabeu whether he saw himself as a peacemaker, replied: “I have never been called that. I’m a coach and so I want to have a good relationship with my players, but I don’t think Madrid needs a peacemaker.
“I don’t think it’s right to make a comparison between Mourinho and myself. He did a certain job here, I will do my work here. He has certain characteristics, I have mine but I have total respect for him.
“I don’t know what went on here nor will I try to find out. There is the start of a new era for me and the players. It’s a new relationship and I think it will be a good one.”
The former Juventus, AC Milan and Chelsea manager, whose appointment at Madrid was confirmed on Tuesday following his departure from French Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain, will sign a three-year contract on 3 July.
Ancelotti announced former Madrid midfielder Zidane, who he coached while at Juve, will be his assistant, alongside Englishman Paul Clement, with whom he worked at PSG.
“Zidane will be with me in the dugout. The only problem is that he can’t play,” he joked.
The Italian spoke four languages in his first exchange with the press, and was asked how he would cope with the immense pressure at Real Madrid – particularly to deliver the club’s tenth European Cup. “Everyone knows how much this club wants to win the European Cup. It’s the biggest objective for everyone involved with the club,” he said. “I have the ambition and the responsibility to win it. It’s a big motivation for me.”
He added: “I don’t think the pressure here is superior to any other club. When you are a coach you will always have pressure and the challenge is how you deal with it.”
He would not give any clues about new players, but said about midfielder Isco, whom Madrid are expected to sign from Malaga: “Spain’s under-21 side has a lot of great players and he is one of the best.
“He could get into any team in the world, so he could also play for Madrid.”