Karim Benzema has paid tribute to the air of calm Carlo Ancelotti brought to Real Madrid last season.
The France striker has spoken to L’Equipe about the 2013-14 campaign in which Madrid claimed the Champions League.
AS reports that the discussion also touched on Ancelotti’s predecessor, Jose Mourinho, and the perception of Benzema as work-shy.
“I’m happy in Madrid. This is my home,” Benzema began.
“[There were difficult days] but I overcame them. At first, some mornings I said ‘I have no desire’ but I couldn’t afford to give up.
“I love working. In Madrid, we have meet for training between 10.30 and 11. I arrive at 9.30.
“After training I stay in the gym. I noticed this about Cristiano Ronaldo. At first I was like others, turning up at 10.30.
“I realised I should aim higher, like he does.
“Some people don’t know the difference between a good game and a very good game.
“When I have a normal game, they say I’m no good.”
Asked to compare Ancelotti and Mourinho, Benzema stressed the difference between the two.
“Ancelotti is serenity. He doesn’t put pressure on the players. It’s different from Mourinho, another method,” he confirmed.
Benzema also reflected on Mourinho’s description of playing with him in attack as like ‘hunting with a cat.’
“I thought, ‘Why does he say that?’ But everything’s relative,” he said.
“There were no jokes about it then but today my friends call me Cat. It’s friendly.
“I’m not a cat or a dog. There's nothing I can do,” he laughed.