Carlo Ancelotti has praised Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism, using a curious example to demonstrate the Real Madrid star’s dedication to his football.
The Portugal international spent two years under Ancelotti’s wing at the Santiago Bernabeu, and lifted the Champions League together in May 2014 before the coach was removed from his post 12 months later.
And Ancelotti was struck with his charge’s attitude to training – although Ronaldo might not be too happy with the anecdote chosen during a chat with the Financial Times.
The newspaper reveals that the star would stay at the Real Madrid training base until 3 am taking an ice bath: “Even though he had [model and former partner] Irina Shayk waiting for him at home,” Ancelotti laughed.
“He does not care about money, he just wants to be the first.”
Girlfriend-ignoring forwards aside, Ancelotti added that not all players shared Ronaldo’s fanatical attention to detail.
The Italian, who will be taking the reins at Bayern Munich when Pep Guardiola steps down to leave for Manchester City, admitted that some flexibility is essential for the job of coaching – as is cracking the whip when necessary.
“There are things where you can be elastic, and things where you must be strong,” he explains.
“If the players say, ‘coach, we have a tough week, can we stay in bed one more hour?’ that is OK. But when I have a meeting before the game, you must be on time.