Real Madrid fire coach Ancelotti, close in on Rafa
MADRIDMay 26, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
May 26, 2015 12:00 am
Real Madrid fired their coach Carlo Ancelotti on Monday as the popular Italian paid for a disappointing season without a major trophy. Ancelotti, 55, had lead Real to their 10th elite European title last season but was sacked after the club finished runners-up to Barcelona in La Liga and lost to Juventus in the semi-finals of this year's Champions League. Club president Florentino Perez said, "The board of directors has taken the decision to relieve Carlo Ancelotti of his duties as coach of Real Madrid. It has been a very hard decision ... but Real Madrid is extremely demanding and we believe it is time to give a new impulse" to the club, Perez continued. The mild-mannered Ancelotti took to Twitter immediately after the announcement to thank the players and fans for the memories. "What remains for me is the memory of two fantastic years at Real Madrid," he said. Ancelotti, who succeed Jose Mourinho as Real boss in June 2013, leaves Madrid having failed to convert a record run of victories last year into silverware at the end of this season. Madrid had won the Club World Cup on a streak of 22 consecutive wins between September and December to add to the Copa del Rey and UEFA Super Cup in a record four-trophy haul in 2014. But they were beaten to the Spanish league title by a treble-seeking Barcelona and eliminated by city rivals Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey. Ancelotti's last chance of keeping his job was ended when one of his former clubs, Juventus, knocked Real out of the Champions League earlier this month to progress to the final. Madrid however are now preparing to welcome a new coach with media reporting that Napoli's Spanish coach Rafael Benitez is among the favourites.