Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted to missing “big bear” Carlo Ancelotti and hopes to be reunited with him at some stage in the future.
Ancelotti was sacked by Madrid at the end of last season after two years in charge – a spell which failed to end Barcelona’s domestic dominance but did result in the club winning La Decima (a 10th European Cup/Champions League title).
The Italian has remained out of work since, despite being linked with a return to the Santiago Bernabeu as well as Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
Ronaldo enjoyed his time under Ancelotti and hopes their paths cross again at some point.
“Mr Ancelotti was an unbelievable surprise. In the beginning I thought he was more a tough person, more… kind of arrogant, and it was the opposite,” Ronaldo told ESPN.
“He’s like a big bear, I can say. He’s a cute guy, such a sensitive person. He spoke with us every day. Not just with me but with all the players. He had fun with us.
“He’s an unbelievable person. I just wish every player could have an opportunity to work with him because he’s a fantastic guy, a fantastic coach and I miss him a lot because we won many trophies together. And I wish to work with him one day again. But now I’m good. I have a new coach and I’m happy too, but it’s great I have good memories.”
Ronaldo has faced criticism this season for his performances, despite netting 21 times in 20 games in all competitions.
There have also been suggestions the tactics adopted by Ancelotti’s successor Rafael Benitez are not to his liking, but Ronaldo is adamant he is “comfortable” under the former Liverpool and Inter boss.
He added: “It’s always different. When it was [Jose] Mourinho or Alex Ferguson, [Manuel] Pellegrini… Everyone has his own style, own system, and we still adapt.
“For example, now to Benitez’s style. But I feel comfortable because most of the time I play my position, so for me it is not going to be a big deal. I feel comfortable anytime on the pitch. I play free always and I feel good.
“I just try to take the most important things of every coach. Not just Sir Alex Ferguson, but Pellegrini, Mourinho, Ancelotti and now with Benitez and the national team coaches too.
“I think everyone has different styles and different opinions. They are different people. So I just pick the best things of them. I am the player that I am today because of course the coaches helped me a lot.”
Benitez is the fifth coach Ronaldo has played under at the Bernabeu in seven and a half years and he believes chopping and changing can be detrimental to results.
“Sometimes it is not easy. If you keep changing all the time it’s hard,” he said. “I don’t like when they change, or they sell or buy players every year, or they change coach every year. Because I think sometimes you need time to know each other, to know the coaches.
“It’s the only way that you can improve yourself in terms of individual or collective too. For the team to be consistent. To change all the time is difficult because you have to adapt to other players [who] have to adapt to you. So it’s hard.
“I’m not a huge fan of when they change all the time but it’s part of the business. The market is like that. They sell, they buy players. So you have to adapt to that. And Real Madrid is a club that buys a player every year, so we have to adapt to that.”