Real Madrid legend and highly-respected voice on the Spanish game, Jorge Valdano, expressed his surprise at Florentino Perez’s decision to bring Carlo Ancelotti back to the Santiago Bernabeu in comments to Onda Cero carried by Marca. “I had the feeling that Ancelotti wasn’t in Florentino’s thinking,” he said.
That’s not to say he was disappointed by the decision. Valdano praised Ancelotti’s ability to maintain relationships with his players, and opined that his appointment would be received well by the Madrid squad. Should he fail, he noted, Raul is waiting in the wings; the club saw their legendary striker as too green to take over from Zinedine Zidane at this juncture, but that could change in a couple of years.
Ancelotti took over at Everton in the winter of the 2019/20 season, replacing Portuguese coach Marco Silva. He delivered some eye-catching results during his tenure, most prominently Everton’s first victory over Liverpool at Anfield since 1999, and had them motoring for a top-four finish until the final months of this season. The wheels came off during the final stretch, however, and The Toffees ended up finishing 10th.
He enjoyed more success during his first spell with Madrid, between 2013 and 2015. Alongside ending Los Blancos’ drought in the Champions League, Ancelotti also led them to a Copa del Rey, a European Super Cup and a Club World Cup. Florentino will hope he can repeat the trick during his second reign.