Carlo Ancelotti

Everything is coming up trumps for Carlo Ancelotti since he returned to Real Madrid and Karim Benzema’s Ballon d’Or is just the latest mark of that. The French forward, already clearly a fan of Ancelotti’s, will likely remain grateful to him for facilitating his victory.

Speaking ahead of Real Madrid’s match with Elche, Carlo Ancelotti told Marca that he was pleased with the award as it was partly down to the work of the team.

“We are very happy. We feel it is partly ours. He has said that he is very proud of this award, he has also thanked all his teammates because it is just that, an individual award thanks to the help of a team. We have all congratulated him. It’s done, we have to think about the next one, and it can start tomorrow.”

This is of course Ancelotti’s second spell in charge of Real Madrid and Benzema too. He was asked what had changed in the Frenchman during the eight years since he had left and now.

“He definitely has much more responsibility and feels much more like a leader in this team than he did eight years ago. He hasn’t changed much technically, his quality is the same. What has changed is his responsibility and his attitude towards the team, being much more of a leader.”

Benzema definitely took that role seriously last season, coming up with big goals and magical moments time and again.

Although it seems bizarre now, Benzema was questioned while Ancelotti was at the club in his first spell. Providing plenty for Cristiano Ronaldo, previously his numbers were not those of a Real Madrid number nine. Although the quality may always have been there, Benzema s playing better than ever, with or without goals.

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