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May 27, 2014

Perez: Ancelotti's future never in doubt

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson and Adrian Healey explain how Carlo Ancelotti's patience and tactical changes overwhelmed Atletico Madrid.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has denied that Carlo Ancelotti might have been sacked as Blancos coach had their side not come back to win last Saturday's Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.

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With the regulation 90 minutes already played and Atletico 1-0 ahead at Lisbon's Estadio da Luz, Madrid were staring at the embarrassment of losing out on both the long-awaited Decima -- a 10th European Cup triumph -- and this season's La Liga title to their neighbours.

However, Sergio Ramos headed a 93rd-minute equaliser and a relieved Madrid team went on to win 4-1 in extra-time, bringing Ancelotti's tally of Champions League winners' medals to five -- three as a coach and two as a player.

The Estadio Santiago Bernabeu club chief told El Partido de las 12 that the Italian coach was going to keep his job even if the final had been lost, although winning the trophy now "strengthened" his position ahead of the seasons to come.

"[Ancelotti] was never out -- not him nor me," Perez said. "The season was good. To win is better and can strengthen difficult situations, but that was not the case. We have a project, we are going to keep improving everything but we need time and calm to do that."

Perez said Ancelotti's calm but strong personality was ideal for being Madrid coach, especially his ability to let bygones be bygones and put any conflict behind him.

"[Ancelotti] is a very normal person but very serious," he said. "When he came into the dressing room and embraced me; I saw that this is a great family. He has driven everything in a calm way and that is important.

"There are days when things are not right after a row; he does not have that, he fixes things. He makes the group into a big family. I would have brought him here before."

Ancelotti, meanwhile, was keen to remain grounded after the historic triumph, stating: "Records are certainly nice, but the reality is different. It's not like any statistics like this can guarantee you anything in the future.

"When next season starts, if we lose two games, I'm already an idiot. That's why I'm not getting carried away."

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