Ancelotti: I'm no 'peacemaker'
New Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has brushed aside suggestions that he was chosen primarily to heal relationships broken during previous boss Jose Mourinho's turbulent three-year spell at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
With Mourinho having left the club after reportedly provoking rows inside Madrid's dressing room, press room and stands, Los Blancos president Florentino Perez is widely assumed to have hired Ancelotti due to his reputation as a genial, amenable character, who oversees harmonious and successful teams.
The former Parma, Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain manager, though, laughed when asked at his unveling at the Bernabeu on Wednesday afternoon if he was coming in as a "peacemaker".
"Nobody has ever called me a peacemaker before, this is the first time," Ancelotti said. "I am a coach, I want to have a good relationship with all players. I have always got on well with them all. I do not think Madrid needs a peacemaker. It is not such a bad word though, it is a nice word, thanks for that word."
Pressed for his opinion on the rows with players, fans and journalists which marred his predecessor's last season at Madrid, Ancelotti was as diplomatic as could be.
"Mourinho is a great coach," he said. "Everyone has their own character. His is different from mine, and mine is different from his. But I have total respect for him. I cannot know what has passed, and I will not learn that. A new stage is beginning for me and the players. I believe there will be a good relationship. There will be no problems."
A question about Mourinho's 'feud' with club captain Iker Casillas last term was also handled lightly.
"I know [Casillas] very well, he is a fantastic 'keeper, he has won everything," Ancelotti said. "He is the captain and the rule in football is that whoever deserves to play will play. That counts for all players and teams."
The Italian claimed he has yet to discuss any potential transfer targets with Perez, but was fulsome in his praise of Malaga forward Isco, who is expected to complete a €30 million move to Madrid in the coming days.
"I can just talk about the quality of this player, he is very good," he said. "Spain's Under-21 side has fantastic players and he is the one with the most quality of all. He could play for any team."
There was nothing else forthcoming about other potential transfer targets, such as Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, with Ancelotti repeating that he was inheriting a quality squad and would now look to see what tweaks might be necessary.
"We have not talked about signings, because this is my first day here," he said. "We will talk about that in the coming days. I have no information about players who might come in. This team is very good, there could be some changes, but not many are needed."