Carlo Ancelotti has revealed how the “selfishness” of Gareth Bale contributed to a “mess” at Real Madrid and his subsequent departure from the club in 2015.
The Italian took the reins at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2013.
In his first season at the helm he delivered La Decima, with Real claiming the Champions League crown for the 10th time in their history.
Ancelotti would last just one more year before being moved on, with club president Florentino Perez claiming that decision was “very difficult”.
Perez was angered by some of Ancelotti’s tactical tweaks, with Wales international Bale at the centre of those disputes.
Madrid bosses were reluctant to see a big-money addition withdrawn for no apparent reason, with ‘Galacticos’ required to see as many minutes as possible.
Ancelotti, though, stands by his calls when it comes to a player he believes displayed a selfish streak too often and cared more about individual acclaim than collective success.
“If there is something that drives me crazy, it is selfishness. When a player has to pass the ball and does not pass it,” Ancelotti told Il Napolista .
“I paid for that in the first person. At Madrid, I took off Bale in a game against Valencia. He had to pass the ball to [Karim] Benzema, who would have scored into an empty goal, but instead of that, he shot [and missed].
“It was the reason that triggered an argument with Florentino, I took him off and the mess began there.”
He does, however, still keep a close eye on events in Spain.
Real have endured a testing 2018-19 campaign, with cross-city rivals Atletico currently sat above them in the table.
Ancelotti is a big fan of the Rojiblancos and their manager Diego Simeone, with an approach found which makes it difficult for opponents to prosper.
“Atletico don’t play badly, they make you play badly,” said Ancelotti.
“They are very well organised and over time they have improved. Now, they play more football, they look for a lot of substance and little aesthetic.”