Carlo Ancelotti ranks Ronaldo among the top five players he’s ever coached.
Carlo Ancelotti names Ronaldo among the five greatest players he’s ever coached.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has ranked Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the five greatest players he has coached during his outstanding career.
Between 2013 and 2015, the Italian was Ronaldo’s coach at Santiago Bernabeu, where their first season together resulted in Champions League and Copa del Rey victories.
Ronaldo had the most productive season of his career under Ancelotti’s guidance, scoring 61 goals in the 2014–15 season and winning two Ballons d’Or.
The two have admired one another in the past, so it was no surprise to hear the former Chelsea and Bayern manager name Ronaldo as one of the best players he has ever worked with, along with two of his current Madrid teammates.
Speaking on the Italian television show Che Tempo Fa, per Managing Madrid, Ancelotti chose Vinicius Junior and Benzema, Brazilian icon Ronaldo and AC Milan veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic to round off his top five.
Last season, Real Madrid won both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, defeating Liverpool in the latter competition’s championship game. Vinicius and Benzema were instrumental in this accomplishment.
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Ancelotti worked alongside Ronaldo Nazario at AC Milan during the 2007/08 campaign and the two-time World Cup winner is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
Ibrahimovic, another outstanding striker, plied his trade under the decorated manager in the 2012/13 campaign at PSG and plundered 35 goals in all competitions.
But it is Ronaldo whom Ancelotti has hailed as the greatest player he has worked with. While in charge in the Spanish capital in 2013, he told The Times: “I’ve seen Ronaldo play a lot of times, of course, but when you’re up close every day his technical skills are unbelievable. He’s the best I’ve ever seen.”
Speaking to ESPN four years later, Ancelotti said: “His [Ronaldo’s] belly is never full. People had told me he was like this before I went to Real Madrid, but until you actually work with him every day, you don’t realise to what degree he takes it.
“He is hugely professional and he works as hard anybody out there. From recovery to diet, he takes care of every detail, ensuring everything is optimal. When I compare it to my playing days, there is no comparison – players today are far more professional – but he takes it to another level.”
The admiration between the duo is mutual and Ronaldo told ESPN in 2015: “He’s [Ancelotti is] an unbelievable person. I just wish every player could have an opportunity to work with him because he’s a fantastic guy, a fantastic coach, and I miss him a lot because we won many trophies together.”