Bale, Isco & Cristiano Ronaldo: How Ancelotti's new Real Madrid could look

The Italian coach was finally confirmed by the Spanish side on Tuesday following a long pursuit. Here, Goal takes a look at just how the capital club could line up in 2013-14
By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer

Carlo Ancelotti was finally confirmed as coach of Real Madrid on Tuesday and the former Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and AC Milan boss will now set about building his team at the Santiago Bernabeu for the 2013-14 season. The Italian, however, is not a man for revolutions.

Ancelotti has used a number of different systems throughout his career as coach, including 4-4-2 at Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea, 4-3-2-1 at AC Milan and even a three-man defence at Juventus. More than a favoured formation, though, Ancelotti adapts adeptly to his surroundings and the players at his disposal like few other coaches and the Italian seems unlikely to alter Madrid's 4-2-3-1.

In the long term, he may have other ideas but Madrid's squad is clearly confectioned to play with the system preferred by his predecessor, Jose Mourinho. Ancelotti will realise that and, although he will introduce a number of tactical variants, the new boss is set to stick with 4-2-3-1 - at least to begin with.

Gonzalo Higuain's imminent departure means that the Italian will be left with only one recognised centre forward in Karim Benzema, although Alvaro Morata moves up from Real Madrid Castilla and the Spanish side continue to track both Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez. Both, however, are seen as overpriced by president Florentino Perez and that could mean that no new striker comes in this summer, with the club focusing their attentions on one major target: Gareth Bale.

Welsh Galactico | Florentino Perez wants Bale at all costs

The Tottenham winger would come at a significant price, too, but Florentino is willing to pay big money for a player who can raise cash through merchandising, shirt sales and image rights. "Great players pay for themselves," Perez said this week. "[Luis] Figo, [Zinedine] Zidane, Ronaldo and [David] Beckham gave us a massive boost in income. If you invest in great players, you will have more income."

Bale, even at £70 million and above, falls into that category. Cavani, at €63m (£57.5m), does not, meaning that Ancelotti may miss out on the striker whom he also wanted to bring in at Chelsea.

One player definitely arriving is Isco, with the Malaga man set to dispute the playmaker position with Mesut Ozil as Kaka, so successful under Ancelotti at AC Milan, seems surplus to requirements. Isco could also start as an attacking midfielder or even on the right with Bale inside. And if the Welshman does not arrive this summer, both Isco and Ozil should start in the Italian's side next term.

Meanwhile, Benzema will be first choice if no striker is signed this summer, although Isco, Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo can all fill in up front if needed.

Elsewhere, Iker Casillas is set to be restored in goal after a difficult period under Mourinho in 2012-13, while Ancelotti is likely to prefer a more creative double pivot with Xabi Alonso alongside Luka Modric and Sami Khedira missing out. Madrid are also after a long-term replacement for Alonso, but transfer targets Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Verratti are unavailable this summer. Finally, Dani Carvajal will compete for the right-back role with Alvaro Arbeloa after returning to Madrid this summer following a year in the Bundesliga.

Here is what Ancelotti's Madrid side could look like in 2013-14:


Iker Casillas


Alvaro Arbeloa

Sergio Ramos

Raphael Varane



Luka Modric

Xabi Alonso


Gareth Bale


Cristiano Ronaldo


Karim Benzema

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