Carlo Ancelotti will not be sacked by Real Madrid, Florentino Perez insists
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has told a news conference that Carlo Ancelotti will remain as the club's manager "whatever happens" in the final months of this season.
Madrid suffered an embarrassing 4-3 home Champions League round-of-16 second-leg defeat to Schalke on Tuesday night. And even though they still qualified 5-4 on aggregate for the quarterfinals, their display was greeted with derision by home fans at the Bernabeu.
The crowd whistled and jeered the players and waved symbolic white handkerchiefs to call for the coach's head, while the Spanish press called the performance by the Champions League holders "a total disaster."
With the team also having taken just one point from their last two La Liga games and been replaced by bitter rivals Barcelona atop the Primera Division table, Blancos pundits immediately speculated that club president Florentino Perez could swing the axe in the coming days.
But Perez has come out to back the man who won the decima (10th) European Cup title and the Copa del Rey last season. He was reacting to the front page of Marca which claimed "Florentino will fire Ancelotti if there's a debacle at Camp Nou" in the clasico a week on Sunday.
He said: "To clear up statements that have nothing to do with reality, and have created a poor atmosphere around club for players.
"Our greatness is in our self-criticism and self-demanding nature, but to take advantage of our low moment in form, to attack coach and the players is disproportionate.
"I want to show our club has full confidence in our coach and our players. Whatever happens in coming weeks, Carlo Ancelotti will remain Madrid coach. And all players have the support and affection of the club, board and president.
"We have best coach and players for Madrid. They have won respect of all football fans, and especially all Madridistas. We feel very proud of all of them.
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"They have won the trophies Madridismo waited many years for: Copa del Rey, plus the decima European Cup, Supercup, Club World Cup, playing amazing football just months ago. For some it was best football of all time at this club.
"We had never won four trophies in one calendar year, so this coach and players form part of the history of this club. We will keep battling for the Champions League and La Liga, and remain united despite all from outside.
"We ask all our socios and fans to support our coach, and be proud of them, for all they have done, and all they will do. They need our support, as that is our strength, and always has been."
Perez said that Ancelotti had been surprised by attacks on him in the media.
"What the coach has experienced until now, is not like what it is like at Madrid," Perez continued. "Madrid has high demands, new people understand they pass from being best team ever, to being worst.
"He is a bit surprised, but he has a lot of experience, been in important clubs before. This is new for him, and could be seen as self-destructive, but he will continue his work.
"No doubt he will have a great season. He won four trophies in one year, I just ask that he is left to do his work. I am the first to be demanding, but with a positive atmosphere."
Perez also called for some perspective.
"My first feeling after Schalke game was to be happy to be in quarters," he said. "That is difficult to do. We saw last night others [referring to Jose Mourinho] did not make it.
"To hit rock bottom would be to go to the Segunda. It's all relative. We are second in La Liga, and into the Champions League quarterfinals, which we have seen is not easy, not everyone has done it.
"We cannot always win these trophies, but we are the club with most La Liga titles and most European Cups. So responsible and intelligent self-criticism is accepted, but not that which does us damage."