Manchester United midfielder Casemiro has praised ‘great coach’ Carlo Ancelotti amid ongoing speculation linking the revered Italian to the vacant Brazil national team job.
Ramon Menezes has been placed in temporary command of Brazil since former boss Tite stepped down in the immediate aftermath of a World Cup quarter-final exit against Croatia in December.
Ancelotti has been persistently linked with the role on a permanent basis – his record at club level remains exemplary following the fourth Champions League win of his career last season, part of a domestic and European double with Real Madrid.
Casemiro has obviously worked with the 63-year-old before across his two spells with Real.
“He is a coach that I know very well, a friend and it was a pleasure to work with him, but Ancelotti has a club and we have to respect the club he is with, and respect Ancelotti,” Casemiro said before Brazil are due to face Morocco in an international friendly on Saturday night.
“Without a doubt, Ancelotti is a great coach. He has won everything [and] has a lot of experience.”
But Casemiro, who is set to captain Brazil in the game and potentially stake his claim to be made new permanent skipper for the next World Cup cycle, has also backed Menezes.
“We know that life is opportunities,” he continued. “Today he is not [permanent], but if he does a great job and the names that the [CBF] president wants are not accepted, Ramon is there.”
After a playing career as a midfielder spent predominantly with Roma and AC Milan in the 1980s – including winning back-to-back European Cups with the latter – Ancelotti hung up his boots in 1992 and quickly landed a job as an assistant coach with the Italy national team.
In 1995, he went solo at club level with Reggiana, which got him the job at Parma and subsequently Juventus by the end of the decade. But it was at AC Milan from 2001 where the success for Ancelotti began, winning Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the first two of his Champions League titles as a coach.
League titles in England and France followed with Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain respectively. There was also a Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich and a spell at Napoli before a surprising move to Everton. That time at Goodison Park ended when Real approach him about returning to Madrid.
But Ancelotti’s only experience in international coaching remains that spell as an assistant with Italy 30 years ago.