Former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that the Welsh winger Gareth Bale alongside his agent, stabbed him in the back during his time at the Bernabeu, complaining to club president Florentino Perez about the manager’s tactics.
Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that Bale’s agent went behind his back to Florentino Perez to ask if he could change the Welsh winger’s position mid-season.
Gareth Bale was a divisive figure for Madrid during Ancelotti’s first campaign in charge. The relationship between player and manager deteriorated rapidly during the 2014-15 season, as the 26-year-old failed to maintain the same level of performance he had demonstrated in his debut year.
Bale went some way towards absolving his poor form with crucial goals in both the Champions League and Copa del Rey finals.
Ancelotti revealed how he felt a sense of betrayal from his winger in his autobiography, Quiet Leadership: Winning Hearts, Minds and Matches:
“One morning in March I received a phone call from the Madrid general director saying that the president wanted to speak with me at the end of training that day. When I visited the president, he told me that Bale’s agent had been to his office to speak about the ‘Bale situation’
“In January, Bale’s agent had been saying things and perhaps felt his position was strong because he had already spoken with the president. Now he was telling the president that Bale was unhappy in his position. He wanted to play more centrally.”
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“The president asked me what we were going to do and I told him ‘Nothing’. It was impossible to change his position at that stage of the season because I would have had to change the whole system and move many more players around.
“I also told the president that I was surprised the player could not speak directly with me. That would be normal. I would have expected the player to come to see me.”
“I told the president that I would speak with Bale myself the next day, which I did after training. I told him ‘I know that your agent spoke to the president. Why didn’t you come to speak with me about what you want?’. He said ‘Yes, OK, no problem.’
“I explained to him what I had said to the president, how it was impossible for me to change the system as it wasn’t just one position, it was the whole team. I was clear with him. I told him that we could try some things in the summer, next year’s pre-season, to change his position, but not now.”
Despite his intentions to accommodate Bale’s central ambitions for the forthcoming campaign, it was already too late. Ancelotti was sacked by Perez and co. at the end of the 2014-15 campaign.
Who knows if Bale went behind the manager’s back again after the discussed incident and demanded that Ancelotti be removed?
Bale certainly seems to be enjoying his central role under Zidane though …