Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti has admitted to building his Real Madrid side around the positional demands of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 57-year-old enjoyed a successful spell at the Santiago Bernabeu between 2013 and 2015, ending the club’s 12-year wait for their 10th Champions League title in 2014 while also claiming the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup.
Ronaldo thrived in Ancelotti’s 4-3-3 system, scoring 51 goals in 47 appearances in their Decima-winning campaign, and he publicly called for the Italian to stay in charge shortly before he was sacked and replaced by Rafael Benitez.
Ancelotti has now conceded that he was willing to bow to the requests of the Portugal star when it came to arranging his team, although he insists it worked for the best as it allowed the so-called ‘BBC’ trident of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo to develop.
“At Real Madrid, Ronaldo was the most important player and I had to listen where he preferred to play and after that try to adapt,” he told The Daily Mail.
“But it was not so difficult because Ronaldo liked to play on the left side, Benzema was a fantastic striker and Bale on the right – I think it was good.”
Ancelotti won his first eight competitive games at Bayern after succeeding Pep Guardiola, conceding just one goal in the process, before a 1-0 Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid triggered a three-game run without a win.
But the former Chelsea and AC Milan boss wants his side to save their top form for the spring as he aims to replicate the treble claimed by Jupp Heynckes in 2012-13.
“We want to win the Bundesliga, we want to win the DFB-Pokal and Champions League,” he said.
“I think that the goal in the Champions League is that we want to be ready in April. We must be competitive, physically good, and focused on the little details. To win the Champions League, you must have everything.
“In this moment we have also the Bundesliga. We started really well but at the moment we are not in a fantastic period and we have to be focused every game and be competitive in every competition
“We have all the ingredients to win here. And I think that Bayern has also a good manager, no?”
Ancelotti expects to return to the Premier League or Serie A once his time at the Allianz Arena comes to an end, although he suggested he could be tempted to take the Italy job.
“They ask me in Italy to come back for the national team,” he added. “But now is not that time.
“Usually I stay in one club for two years, like at Chelsea; in Paris, one year and a half; two years in Madrid. I would like to stay here a little bit more, a bit longer and then after that I have to choose England or Italy.”
When asked if he would consider the England job, he added: “Why not? But later. You ask me now. And before there is Italian national team.”