Carlo Ancelotti was very much beloved by Madrid fans after steering the team to the coveted La Decima—tenth Champions League trophy. The tactics, the overall quality of play, and the man-management of top stars, all resonated with the fan base. Now coach of Napoli in the Italian Serie A, Carlo Ancelotti uncharacteristically took what appears to be a slight jab at one of his former players, Gareth Bale. In speaking to the press about the difference in selflessness vs selfishness, Gareth was used as an example to describe the latter:
“Not all players have it, of course, but selflessness is an important quality in a squad. If there is one thing that drives me crazy, it is selfishness on the pitch. When a player has to pass, but does not. I have also paid for it. At Madrid. the reason for the conversation with Florentino Perez was because I took off Bale in a match against Valencia (a game which Real Madrid ultimately lost 2-1). He had the chance to pass to Benzema, who would have had a simple tap-in, but Bale shot and missed, so I took him off and we had war”.
It’s not exactly clear if the conversation between Perez and Ancelotti resulted in his sacking, but his statement, “...I have also paid for it”, meaning he has had to pay for the selfishness of his players, in this particular scenario, Bale, alludes to the fact that his disputes with Bale may have been factors in his dismissal. It’s not the first time Carlo Ancelotti has brought up Gareth Bale since the Italians departure from Real Madrid. He is also spoken out Jonathon Barnett, Bale’s agent, who had a meeting with Florentino Perez to complain about Bale’s position on the pitch.
The apparent disagreements with Bale and Perez may have been a factor in his dismissal, but the Carlo’s ultimate undoing was his inability to rotate the squad and the lack of silverware in his second season. Despite this, he will forever remain etched into Real Madrid folklore for the success and joy brought to Los Blancos on May 24th, 2014.