Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that the team’s star player Cristiano Ronaldo manages himself.
The Italian coach was asked whether it was hard managing a superstar like Ronaldo, the three-time Ballon d’Or winner who has scored an incredible 302 goals in 291 appearances for Los Blancos, but he responded by saying it was “quite the opposite”.
"Is it hard to manage a player like him?” asked Radio Anch'io Sport, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. To which Ancelotti replied: “Quite the opposite he manages himself".
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Ancelotti needs Ronaldo more than ever this week
Ancelotti may require another heroic effort from his No. 7 tomorrow evening as an injury-hit Real Madrid face local rivals Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash at the Bernabeu.
Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and Marcelo are all likely to miss Wednesday night’s fixture - putting even more emphasis on Ronaldo to produce the goods against Diego Simeone’s well-organised side.
Ancelotti walking a tightrope
Ronaldo failed to score in the first leg, but certainly has the ability to make a telling impact in front of a sell-out crowd at the Bernabeu.
Failure to perform, however, could have dire consequences for his manager; Ancelotti is expected to be axed by Real Madrid boss Florentino Perez unless he can secure a second consecutive Champions League title.
No club has won back-to-back European Cups in its current format, but Real Madrid have every chance if they can find a way past Atletico with several key players absent.
Ancelotti wants Real Madrid stay
Ancelotti admits the aims is to make it to the Champions League final, and says he hopes to continue at the Bernabeu despite the intense speculation surrounding his position.
"I would love to continue working at Real Madrid. Will I ever train again in Italy? I would like to in the future, but for now I am very happy abroad."
If Ancelotti is sacked, the former AC Milan and Chelsea head coach will have no shortage of offers from elsewhere, including the Premier League.
One potential next destination for Ancelotti could be Manchester City, even though the Citizens reportedly have their heart set on luring Pep Guardiola to the Etihad Stadium once he completes his project with Bayern Munich.
Zidane tipped to replace Ancelotti
But who will replace Ancelotti at the Bernabeu?
Zinedine Zidane, the current head coach of Real Madrid Castilla, is the man Perez wants to succeed Ancelotti - but there are five other candidates, according to reports from Spain.
Jurgen Klopp is one of them on the short-list, and the outgoing Borussia Dortmund manager is joined by the likes of Rafael Benitez and Julen Lopetegui.
Should Real Madrid replace Carlo Ancelotti this summer? If so, who should succeed the Italian coach at the Bernabeu? Have your say in the comments below!