According to at least one rumour, the former Madrid midfielder has already been named as Ancelotti’s replacement.
Although the Spanish season has only been going for a little over six weeks, Real Madrid is already drawing attention as fans anticipate a new team and manager in 2019. Carlo Ancelotti’s departure when his contract expires at the end of June has long appeared inevitable, made more so by the fact that Brazil is keeping a seat ready for him. The idea now is that Madrid may have also discovered the person to take his position.
Of course, a quick search of Europe would reveal the excellent work being done by Xabi Alonso and Bayer Leverkusen. The former Madrid midfielder brought back a team with low morale in just eleven months, leading them from the bottom of the table to a top-six finish and a semifinal appearance in the Europa League. The recurring near-men of German football this year have greater goals in mind; after six games, they are tied for first place in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich in terms of points.
The dynamic young team’s aggressive front-footed play has already won the 41-year-old many fans. One of them is Ancelotti, and if Alonso, whom he has twice taught, were to succeed the Italian, it would seem to be with a resounding endorsement. In his pre-game news conference prior to Madrid’s La Liga matchup against Las Palmas, Ancelotti stated, “I had Xabi Alonso as a player.” “He is quite knowledgeable about football. With Bayer Leverkusen, he is succeeding remarkably. He have the ability to read the game and do that.
“I believe that Xabi Alonso, Raul González, and [Alvaro] Arbeloa’s greatest dream is to coach Real Madrid one day, and I desire it for them because I know them all and love them all. Let’s hope they can coach Real Madrid someday.
Those remarks were made in response to a Radio Marca report that suggested Alonso was already the club’s first option to succeed Ancelotti. Raul, the head coach of the B team and one of the best players in club history, has also been mentioned as a possible replacement for Ancelotti next season, while Julian Nagelsmann, who recently signed on to lead Germany through Euro 2024, counts Perez as one of his biggest supporters. But if Alonso maintains his recent pattern, the position might very well be his if he so chooses.
Leverkusen would of course have to cooperate as well, and they would be well-positioned to at least obtain a sizable money for Alonso in the upcoming summer. In August, they signed a two-year contract extension with their manager, tying him to the Bay Arena until 2026. The World Cup champion is a highly regarded member of the team, not just for his playing career but also for the immediate effect he had on the team. In May, star wing back Jeremie Frimpong told LIVESPORTS, “When he first came, we were all down.” He had to help the group rise. He undoubtedly did, and it would be simple to comprehend Leverkusen’s reluctance to lose such a significant player.
However, Die Werkself are not an unrealistic organisation and have recently shown that they are prepared to work with people like Kai Havertz and Moussa Diaby. Leverkusen typically prospers even after losing such prominent players. For example, the brilliant Victor Boniface has taken on the scoring load that Diaby carried last season, while Frimpong has flourished with more responsibility down the right.
The Santiago Bernabeu, where Alonso would take over another group brimming with developing promise, would hardly require him to tailor his team to enforced sales. Who wouldn’t be excited by the thought of Jude Bellingham studying under one of the finest playmakers of his generation in midfield, in particular? It’s understandable why Madrid would be eager to land the guy responsible for Bayer Leverkusen’s ascent given that the team features some of the top young talent in the league and is led by one of the coaching profession’s rising stars.