Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has revealed his emotional reaction at having to dismiss Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italian was in charge at Allianz Arena from 2016-17, replacing Pep Guardiola, and was sacked after a 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League amid rumours of him having fallen out with the dressing room.
Despite the fractious nature of the current Napoli coach's departure, Rummenigge said he was saddened to let him go and impressed with his reaction.
"I can remember that when I had to dismiss Carlo Ancelotti, I was crying," the 64-year-old executive told a Gazzetta dello Sport event in Trento.
"Carlo understood the situation and hugged me, saying, 'It's okay, you're not my boss anymore, but we're still friends.' I had to cry,
"He is a great character and a great coach, in the second season the results were not what the club expected.
“Carlo is a friend, an incredibly calm person even in the most difficult moments. Perhaps we should have waited a little longer before we let him go. He proved to be a great man."
He says that former Inter president Ernesto Pellegrini, who brought him along with countrymen Lothar Matthaeus, Jurgen Klinsmann and Andreas Brehme to the club, serves as an inspiration.
“My idol is President Pellegrini,” he continued.
"Talent helped me with the ball, but as a manager it is more complicated.
“No one can teach you anything, you can only observe leaders like Pellegrini.
“When you lose and you are criticized, you have to manage difficult moments. The president invited us to dinner, made us feel part of the team.
“When I left Milan, my family had changed. Money and comfort are not everything
"There is also humanity that in our world is not seen very often. Here is what I bring back from your country. Being good, available and open to the people.”