Speaking in his first press conference since re-joining Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media ahead of taking over at the Spanish club for the second time in his managerial career.

On returning to Real Madrid

I don’t know about the personal relationship between Zidane and the club president, but when Real Madrid called me to return, I had no doubts. I am very happy to be back, just as excited as the first time around. I want to thank the president for bringing me back. I’m very happy to be back. I have great memories of the two years here, the trophies, the great relationships, and we will repeat something good again in this new challenge.

On Cristiano Ronaldo

I am very close to Cristiano, but I do not like to talk about players at other clubs. He has a contract at Juventus. I can tell you I love him a lot, and I am happy to see him still scoring goals and playing very well.

On Eden Hazard

Hazard is a top player, he has had injury problems, and not shown his full potential yet here. I believe he can do that next year, he wants to and is motivated.

On Zinedine Zidane

What can I say about Zizou? He won three European Cups in a row. He has done a fantastic job, everyone should be thankful for what Zizou has done. But that is football, one coach leaves, another one arrives. I’m going to speak with him, we are friends.

On Gareth Bale

Gareth has not played much in the Premier League, but he scored lots of goals and was very effective in recent games when he had the chance to play. He is coming back, I know him very well, he will be motivated to play better and have a great season, no doubt.

Does the club need a new striker?

Benzema has to score 30 instead of 25, Vinicius has to score more, Rodrygo too, they have a lot of potential. There are goals in this squad.

On whether Sergio Ramos will renew his contract

It is clear that Ramos is a very important player. He has been fundamental for much of the success at this club. I know there are talks over a renewal, but I don’t know the details. When I do, I can say more. I must speak with the club about all this, we will do it in the coming days. I could not imagine Madrid without Carlo Ancelotti, but it happened, so we will have to see.

On Kylian Mbappé

With quality players, you have a better chance of winning trophies. It is important to have a team with balance, quality, sacrifice and teamwork. Then individual quality can give you that edge.

On transfers

We have a very big squad, and first thing we have to do is evaluate the players that we have.

On coaching Real Madrid

Coaching Real Madrid is a responsibility, a nice responsibility, as you are coaching the best club in the world. It is normal that there is more responsibility than in other places and I accept that.