Coaching Real Madrid is one of the toughest jobs in world football due to the politics involved at the Santiago Bernabeu, says former boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Pellegrini was in charge at Madrid in the 2009-10 campaign but lasted just one season as they lost out on the Liga title to fierce rivals Barcelona.
The now Manchester City manager, whose side face Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday, has fond memories of his time in the Spanish capital but feels there are too many people trying to interfere with first-team affairs.
“I wouldn’t say coaching Madrid is an impossible job. It’s an honour to coach Madrid. But you have to realise that when you take charge of Madrid, you have to accept politics play a big role,” Pellegrini told El Mundo.
“There are bound to be people who will try to interfere even if they do not have the football knowledge to do so. If you allow someone without football knowledge to interfere and if you let criticism from the political side affect you, you are not ready for the job.
“I was fortunate enough to pass one of the most difficult tests and it did not change me one bit. I know that the players liked it most about me that nothing changed regardless of the result at the weekend.
“I demanded the same from the players, to not let anything happening on the outside affect them. I never fielded a player because I was told to do so or because I was being criticised.
“I only have good memories of my time at Madrid. Unfortunately I didn’t win the league, even if it would have been the first and last title anyway. I knew that I was fired because club president Florentino Perez had told Villarreal president Fernando Roig and he told me.”
City travel to the Bernabeu for the Champions League semi-final second leg with the tie nicely poised at 0-0.