Ancelotti ‘didn’t feel Decima pressure’

Former Real Madrid Coach Carlo Ancelotti never felt pressure to win La Decima, and considered Gary Neville’s appointment at Valencia.

Ancelotti has been out of work since leaving Madrid in the summer but spoke to the Independent and confirmed he intends to return to the bench in 2016, having accepted his fate at Santiago Bernabeu.

“Experience tells you that, having not won the previous year, they would sack me if I didn’t win,” Ancelotti said of the situation with which he was faced ahead of the 2014 Champions League final.

“I knew when I signed for Real Madrid that there was this possibility.

“La Decima was really special because, from the first day I arrived at Madrid, everyone was talking about it. It had been a long time – 12 years since the last European Cup – that the club had been fighting to win it and as soon as I arrived, it was the only thing that people would talk about.

“That made it clear it was so important and such a motivation for everybody – the players, the President, the club, the supporters. But for me, it was not a pressure, it was more like a really good motivation.  That season, everything was perfect in the Champions League.”

Ancelotti also confirmed he felt no need to re-charge his batteries after exiting Spain, but has only been on the sidelines due to the lack of a club tempting him to return.

“I don’t find it stressful and I only took a rest because I didn’t find another club [after Madrid],” he explained.

“It was not something that I needed because of stress, because that is not a problem for me. I don’t have pressure. I like my job and I know how it is. I have experience.”

Gary Neville finds himself at the other end of the spectrum to the well-travelled Ancelotti and takes charge of his first Valencia game on Wednesday, against Lyon in the Champions League.

“It’s a very interesting project for Gary Neville, but I respect his decision to take a big challenge in a new country,” Ancelotti continued.

“He is learning from Roy Hodgson with England and will have learned so much from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, so it is good to see a young, English coach like Gary test himself like this. I wish him great success.”

Tags Carlo Ancelotti Gary Neville