Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that an argument with Real Madrid officials over Gareth Bale’s perceived selfishness cost him his job at the Bernabeu in 2015.
After replacing Jose Mourinho in the dugout in 2013, Ancelotti went on to enjoy success in both the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, but failed to lift the La Liga title before being relieved of his duties just two years later.
Speaking to Italian outlet Il Napolista, Ancelotti suggested that a clash with Real president Florentino Perez over his treatment of Bale ultimately led to his dismissal at the club.
He said: “If there is something that drives me crazy, it is selfishness. When a player has to pass the ball and does not pass it.
“I paid it for in the first person. At Madrid, the reason that triggered the discussions with Florentino Perez was a replacement I made to Bale in a match 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. I took him off and the mess began there. Excessive selfishness hurts the team”
Bale has been a hugely divisive figure in Madrid since his big-money move to Real in 2013. He has made a total of 219 appearances for the club, racking up 100 goals and 63 assists, but many fans have always expected more from the Welshman.
Frequent injuries have prevented Bale from maintaining his elite form, whilst his relationships with senior players at the club, including former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, have regularly come into question.
Real teammates Thibaut Courtois and Marcelo have both spoken of their frustrations towards Bale’s attitude. Marcelo noted that Bale still does not speak Spanish, whilst Courtois insisted that he is yet to adapt to life in Spain and that Bale’s mentality prevents him from truly excelling.