Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has insisted that his decision to sack Carlo Ancelotti in the summer remains the right one.
The Italian paid the price for a season devoid of any major silverware in May, just a year on after La Decima, but the patron is standing by his story that the side have “deteriorated” since the Club World Cup at the start of the year and “needed a new impetus”.
“Since January, we’ve experienced a deterioration [in our form],” he told Cadena SER.
“We needed a new impetus. Atletico [Madrid] knocked us out of the Copa [del Rey], then we were almost eliminated from the Champions League by Schalke.
“We’ve had a problem since January. I noticed we were suffering from wear, although I still have a lot of affection for Ancelotti.
“[On the players’ affection for Ancelotti], how are the players not going to have anyaffection for Ancelotti? I do too, like I do for [Vicente] del Bosque
“I’ve never thought about leaving. I grow in times of adversity.
“[On Madrid’s ultras] the Bernabeu must be a place of passion and feeling, but not one of violence.
“They want to seize this moment and create a division, so they sing ‘Florentino, resign’.
“There’s a movement to destabilise both the club and I. They want to take over Madrid again.
“We have the best players in each position, and so are they from the human perspective.
“It’s not easy to manage a team like Madrid, but they are good professionals. This is one of the best squads I’ve ever had.
“[On Iker Casillas and Alvaro Arbeloa], it’s not true that I didn’t speak with them. They had their own beliefs, but that’s it.
“[On banning the Press from travelling with the players], a player doesn’t like sharing a ride with a journalist who kills them every week. I also find it a hindrance.
“[On possibly being banned by FIFA], of the players FIFA has investigated, we’re not aware of any wrongdoing.
“It also investigated [Zinedine] Zidane’s two sons.
“I have a different type of enthusiasm from 2000. I have more experience now, but I still have the dream of achieving the biggest success this club has ever seen, while being responsible with my behaviour.
“I returned in 2009 because people in the street told me [the club’s struggles at the time] were my fault.”