Fernando Morientes says that new Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti "is an ideal coach" for the club.
Madrid brought a month of speculation to a close on Tuesday morning when it was confirmed that Ancelotti was to follow Jose Mourinho onto the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu bench, after former club Paris Saint-Germain ended their own long search for a suitable replacement by naming Laurent Blanc as their new manager.
Morientes, a Madrid 'Fabrica' product turned three-time Champions League winning centre-forward, now 37, coached the club's Juvenil B youth team [17-19 year olds] to their championship title last season and has been tipped for a senior team role further down the line. He told AS that Perez had made a smart choice in appointing the former Milan and Chelsea boss at this time.
"[Ancelotti] has a lot of experience as both a player and as a manager, and is the type of coach who players like," Morientes said. "I believe he is an ideal coach for Real Madrid. The president has said that his coach is Ancelotti. If he has said that, well then for us, who are at the club, he is also our coach."
Much speculation in Spain now surrounds what role Zinedine Zidane will play at the club next season. Perez initially publicly earmarked Zidane for a sporting director role in charge of all footballing affairs at the Bernabeu, however the Frenchman himself reportedly would prefer a more hands-on coaching role.
Zidane, whose 18-year-old son Enzo plays in Morientes' Juvenil B side, had talked to him positively about Ancelotti when the two former team-mates had been working together with Madrid's youth players last season, the-ex Liverpool player said.
"I do not know [Ancelotti] personally but people have talked to me about him," he said. "This year Zidane was in my 'cantera' dressing-room and when his name came up I asked him about him.