I never saw Ronaldo look in the mirror! – Ancelotti

The perception that Cristiano Ronaldo is vain and only out for personal glory is wide of the mark, according to his former coach at Real Madrid Carlo Ancelotti.

Ronaldo’s Portugal face Croatia in Euro 2016’s last 16 on Saturday and Ancelotti, who is taking over from Manchester City-bound Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich for the 2016-17 season, defended the forward against accusations of self-interest.

Ancelotti, who won the 2014 Champions League with Ronaldo and Madrid, insisted the 31-year-old’s public image does not match what he experienced as his coach between 2013 and 2015.

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“You see a different kind of Cristiano Ronaldo when you are the manager of his team,” Ancelotti wrote in The Telegraph. 

“The rest of the world has become obsessed with the image and the look of the man, or how he celebrates when he scores, or how he reacts when things go wrong. I just saw a guy who always wanted to do his best.

“First of all, I never once saw him in front of the dressing-room mirror or worrying about how he looked. For Cristiano the priority was always to win.

“There were a lot of strong guys in that Real Madrid dressing room – it was a basic requirement of being at the club that you needed a big personality.”

Ancelotti hailed the work Ronaldo has put in to become one of the finest footballers in the history of the game, noting he is particularly interested in the fitness side of the sport and “lived for the game”.

“He is a pleasure to manage,” said Ancelotti. “We all know about the work he puts in to be so strong and his perfectionism on the training ground when it comes to technique.

“He also understands that a lot about being a top footballer, with the demands of the modern game, is about recovery. It is what you do in between the games that counts for so much. He would talk to our medical staff all the time, he would try to figure out what he needed.

“The boy lived for the game – everything else was built to fit around it. That meant his recovery times, what he ate, when he ate, his commercial commitments, even his private life. All of it was organised so that when he stepped on the pitch he would be at the absolute peak of his performance.

“No footballer can be 100 per cent fit every time he plays, but Ronaldo never got badly injured because he did so much of the prevention work that can help you avoid those sort of problems.”

Gerland sees Kimmich as Lahm's long-term successor

The Bayern Munich assistant manager believes the highly-rated Germany international is a natural fit to replace the club legend when he decides to hang up his boots

Joshua Kimmich is a natural successor to Philipp Lahm at Bayern Munich, according to the club’s assistant manager Hermann Gerland.

Kimmich enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Bayern this season and earned a spot in Germany’s Euro 2016 as a result.

The 21-year-old can play in defence and midfield like captain Lahm, 32, who slowly edging towards the end of his career.

And Gerland, who recently joined the club as part of Carlo Ancelotti’s backroom staff, believes Kimmich can replace Lahm when the Bayern legend decides to retire.

“When Philipp retires at Bayern in two years we don’t have to worry about his position,” Gerland told TZ. 


GOALREAD MORE  | Martinez return to Bilbao in danger


“Then Joshua will be Bayern’s new right full-back. But in the end [new head coach] Carlo Ancelotti decides this of course.”

Gerland feels Lahm is still the best right-back in world football, though, and insists Kimmich must be given time to reach his full potential.

“It is always difficult to compare two different players,” Gerland said. “You mustn’t forget that Philipp is the best right full-back in the world.

“How could Joshua be at this point at his young age now? Until he achieves this level it will still take some time.”

RUMOURS: De Bruyne & Hazard on Barca shortlist to replace Neymar

The Manchester City and Chelsea forwards are on a shortlist that includes three other names as the Catalan club brace themselves for the exit of the Brazil international


Barcelona are preparing for the exit of Neymar and have drawn up a shortlist of potential replacements including Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, according to Voetbal International.

The Brazil international is wanted by both Manchester United and Real Madrid, and Barca are eyeing five players as they brace for his possible exit.

Along with Manchester City’s De Bruyne and Chelsea’s Hazard, Barca are also monitoring Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Bayern Munich’s Douglas Costa. 



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How Bayern's feud with Athletic could block Javi Martinez transfer

The Leon’s intransigence when it comes to negotiating their stars is coming back to haunt them, as the ill-feeling left when Martinez moved to the Allianz Arena remains


Athletic’s efforts to bring Javi Martinez back to the Basque Country will have to overcome an unexpected obstacle: the bad blood left between themselves and Bayern Munich when the midfielder first moved.

Ernesto Valverde’s side are thinking big for the coming season, especially after the coup of convincing star defender Aymeric Laporte to sign a a new deal amid interest from the likes of Barcelona and Manchester City. 

Martinez’s repatriation after four years in Bavaria is seen as a big step in allowing the side to compete alongside the best in La Liga, but the manner in which the Basques negotiated his transfer still rankles around the Bundesliga giants. 

Bayern signed the Spain international for €40 million back in 2012, after dealing with an intransigent Athletic board determined not to release their star. 

Goal
understands that even the personal intervention of Jupp Heynckes, a veteran of the Leon from two spells as coach, could not convince Josu Urrutia to start talks with his Bayern counterpart Karl-Heinz Rummennigge. The Athletic president turned down flat the proposal from the then-Die Roten boss. 


GOALREAD MORE  | ‘Mascherano to Juve deal is off!’

Ultimately Bayern resorted to a move more reminiscent of spy films than transfer negotiations. Martinez was smuggled out of Bilbao in order to undertake his medical under a huge umbrella, after Athletic refused him permission to travel to Munich. 

Even four years later, Bayern directors still believe Athletic’s actions were inappropriate, and Goal understands that they are not prepared to sit down and discuss a deal. Carlo Ancelotti, moreover, may keep Martinez as part of his first-team squad, although a transfer is a possibility before the end of the window. 

President Urrutia’s mantra of ‘release clause of nothing’ has apparently blown up in his face, and Athletic will have to work hard to convince Bayern to enter talks.

Right now the Basques are maintaining their usual hermetic silence when it comes to negotiations, and whether they will manage to mend bridges with Bayern in order to bring home the star is anyone’s guess.

Clement joins Bayern Munich as Ancelotti's assistant

The 44-year-old, who worked as the Italian’s number two at Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid, has teamed up with his former ally once more following a failed spell as Derby County boss


Paul Clement has been appointed as Bayern Munich assistant manager.

The 44-year-old is teaming up with former ally Carlo Ancelotti at the Allianz Arena, having previously worked alongside the Italian at Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

Clement was appointed Derby County boss in June 2015 following Ancelotti’s dismissal by Real Madrid, but was sacked by the Rams in February while they were fifth in the Championship.


GOALREAD MORE  | RUMOURS: Lewandowski open to PL switch

The Englishman will start work when the Bundesliga and German Cup holders return to pre-season training in three weeks’ time.

Bayern have also confirmed Ancelotti has decided to keep on Hermann Gerland as part of his backroom setup.

The experienced coach previously worked under both Louis van Gaal and Juup Heynckes for the Bavarians.

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