Don Carlo's acknowledgement "It's a compliment to be called that"
The Italian was asked on a comparison between his side and their derby rivals, and he did not hesitate
Carlo Ancelotti is a man who rarely hides from the press, even when they try to put in a tricky spot. After Real Madrid's 3-1 win against FC Barcelona in a match that Blaugrana coach Xavi Hernandez claimed they "did not deserve to lose", many have pointed out the Merengue team's rather counterattacking and reactive style, and whether it does indeed relate to the other team in Madrid.
The Italian has always been a coach who's tactics always revolve around making his best players shine, and with this Real Madrid side, that means making room for the likes of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes and Federico Valverde prey on defences with space to run while 2022 Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema anchors the attack. As a result, los Blancos are quite a counterattacking team, and this has lead some to brand them a "cholista" side.
Of course, that comes from Diego "Cholo" Simeone, the Atletico Madrid boss, who specializes in building up strong defences and lethal counters. Asked about his thoughts on being compared to his Madrid Derby counterpart, Ancelotti did not fall on the trap.
"It is a complement. I saw the Athletic-Atletico game at the weekend, it was an entertaining match", replied the Italian, "After the match I heard Simeone say that he was moved by the performance. I agree". Then the Real Madrid boss went on to praise Simeone's team: "When a team shows that amount of commitment, it is moving for a manager. So if they say Real Madrid are Cholista, it is a complement".
While it remains to be seen how his take lands with the Merengue faithful, who are usually quite happy to diferentiate themselves from los Colchoneros, the reality is that Carlo Ancelotti does not care what his team gets called, as long as they're succeeding. As he recently put it: "It is very easy to be the manager of Real Madrid: you just have to win the games".