Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final exit against Juventus sparked debate over whether Real Madrid could Carlo Ancelotti should continue as coach beyond the end of this season.
After winning the Champions League and three other trophies last year, the Italian will finish this campaign without a major trophy, a failure that usually means trouble with demanding president Florentino Perez.
In March, ahead of the vital Clasico clash against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, Perez backed his coach in light of a story in Marca that said the result against the Catalans would decide Ancelotti’s future. He only backed him to the end of the campaign, however, and refused to commit to Ancelotti seeing out his contract in 2016 – or extending it.
Director Emilio Butragueno also refused to back Ancelotti in a post-match interview with Canal+ on Wednesday night, twice being asked about the coach’s future but twice dodging an answer.
Ancelotti at least has the backing of the players, and the fans. In a poll in Spanish sports newspaper AS, 63 per cent of fans said he should continue next season.
His squad also backed him. Marcelo said: “He is a winner, if it was up to me he would continue.” Sergio Ramos said: “If Madrid triumphed in Europe it was because of him.” Toni Kroos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have also publicly backed their coach.
Such is Perez’s twitchy finger after a trophy-less season the odds are still against Ancelotti to continue. The backing of the fans, and the press, may at least help the Italian’s cause, however.