Some of Real Madrid’s key players have rallied around coach Carlo Ancelotti after the Italian was made the scapegoat for a season without major trophies and sacked on Monday.
Top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo had already offered his support for Ancelotti on Saturday, the Portugal forward saying he hoped to work with him again next season.
President Florentino Perez decided, however, that “a new impetus” was needed and fired Ancelotti two years into a three-year contract.
The decision, taken just a year after Ancelotti guided Real to their historic 10th European Cup triumph, prompted several important figures in the dressing room to show their appreciation for the coach on Twitter.
“Thanks for everything boss,” Real’s Brazil left back Marcelo wrote. “You are really great.”
Germany midfielder Toni Kroos added: “Thank you boss. It was a pleasure to work with you. I wish you all the best for the future.”
Colombian international James Rodriguez also thanked Ancelotti, saying he had “learned a great deal in a short time” from the 55-year-old, while France forward Karim Benzema expressed his gratitude for “two great years”.
Perez, who has worked his way through nine coaches in two six-year stints at the helm of the world’s richest club by income, said he did not mind the players advertising their affection for Ancelotti.
Going so obviously against the wishes of a majority of the squad may, however, make the job of whoever succeeds Ancelotti that much harder.