·8 de diciembre de 2023
·8 de diciembre de 2023
Real Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini will face his old club Real Madrid at the Benito Villamarin on Saturday afternoon, and has admitted that he would have liked to spend more time at the Santiago Bernabeu than his single season. Without any bitterness, he admitted that differences between himself and the hierarchy at Real Madrid mean that this was impossible though.
Pellegrini explained to Diario AS that he only met with President Florentino Perez once ahead of accepting that offer, and that thereafter, he did not have a relationship to speak of with him.
“Ever since I arrived at Madrid we had differences in thinking about what the work of a coach is like with the board. Without having any fight, I accept differences of opinion. The president has a way of thinking about what coaches are and what coaches should do and I had a difference with him at the beginning of the season. I even offered to leave at that time. It didn’t happen. The season passed and I knew I was out of Madrid whether or not I won the title.”
“Maybe I could have tried to get closer to Florentino Perez, tried to talk to him before the problem happened.”
That title, in 2009 lost to Barcelona in Pep Guardiola’s first season with the senior side, is the thorn in the side. He would go on to say that remaining at Real Madrid would have deprived him of his wonderful time at Malaga though, where he brought a Champions League quarter-final to La Rosaleda.
“The title that I did miss was the League title with Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo was injured for three months, Barcelona beat us 1-0 with a great goal in the 81st minute that they hit a left-footed strike into the top corner. Without that defeat we would’ve be champions. The team had overcome many things, it was an unbalanced team. And it was the best Barcelona in history. It hurt me a lot not to win that title. There was no relationship with the board.”
Pellegrini has been praised for his lack of resentment towards Real Madrid, despite being sacked after getting to 96 points. He was also asked about Carlo Ancelotti, who enjoys a similar reputation in terms of his classy conduct.
“From my point of view, Ancelotti meets all the conditions that a great coach should have. He has won the Champions League and La Liga, there are never any complaints from the players towards him. However, in this profession there is a phrase that reflects what we are: They hire you because you are good and they fire you because you are bad. And you are evaluated by amateur people who have no idea what the profession is.”
Earlier in the interview Pellegrini had said that he does not compare himself with the self-proclaimed special one, Jose Mourinho, and the Chilean was asked whether his lack of self-promotion works against him.
“I’m not going to be better or worse for having more recognition. I do not ask for more. More significance or recognition will not make me a better person. I am happy to receive awards, but I don’t live by that. It won’t make me a better person or manager.”
Certainly it is hard to argue that Pellegrini did not get a raw deal from his time at Real Madrid. However Perez at that point had become convinced that Mourinho was the only one that could bring down Barcelona, which was a mixed effort at best, eventually winning a single league title in his four years at the club, and losing the Champions League semi-final to their arch rivals.