Ancelotti sticks up for Koeman and insists his rival 'did his best'

Carlo Ancelotti sticks up for Ronald Koeman and insists his rival ‘did his best and gave all he could’ after the Dutchman was sacked on the flight home from Barcelona’s loss to Rayo Vallecano

  •  READ: Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has finally been sacked as head coach
  • The Dutchman was sacked on the plane home from 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano 
  •  The manager led Barcelona through their worst start since the 1987-88 season
  • Carlo Ancelotti and Koeman recently met when Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-1

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has stuck up for Ronald Koeman after rivals Barcelona fired the Dutchman. 

Koeman was sacked by the Catalans before the wheels on their flight home even touched down after a dismal 1-0 defeat by Rayo Vallecano. 

The Dutchman, who was appointed 14 months ago, had led Barcelona to their worst start to a season since the 1987-88 campaign and they are closer to the relegation zone than the top of the table.

Real boss Carlo Ancelotti (left) defended rival Ronald Koeman (right) after he was sacked 

The Dutchman was sacked by Barcelona during the flight home from loss to Rayo Vallecano

Barcelona are left struggling in ninth after a dire run of results and another flat performance against Rayo Vallecano was the final straw that led a furious club president Joan Laporta to put Koeman out of his misery. 

But Real boss Ancelotti, who is enjoying his second managerial spell at the Bernabeu, has spoken out in defence of his fellow manager, insisting that being sacked is just a part of the job and that Koeman did his best. 

‘I have been sacked several times… I’m still alive. I’m still here. I’m still happy,’ the Italian said after Los Blancos’ goalless stalemate with Osasuna, via L’Equipe.

‘Being fired is part of working life. You have to give your best as long as you are the coach.

Barcelona are enduring one of the most turbulent periods and are ninth in the LaLiga table 

The two managers faced each other as the Nou Camp played host to El Clasico last weekend

‘And when they sack you, you must look to the future with a clear conscience knowing you have given your best.

‘I think Ronald Koeman did his best and that he gave all he could.’

The two managers faced off last weekend as Real came out victorious in El Clasico with a 2-1 win. 

It was Barcelona’s second LaLiga defeat of the season, with the Blaugrana scraping just four wins from ten so far.

Koeman oversaw one of the most turbulent periods in the club’s recent history as long-serving talisman Lionel Messi left for PSG on a free transfer, while Barca brought in Memphis Depay and former Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.

Real Madrid emerged victorious from the legendary clash with a 2-1 win over their rivals

President Joan Laporta was ‘very angry’ after the Rayo Vallecano result and made his decision

But the new acquisitions have not been able to inspire Barca to success this season, with the team producing a number of lacklustre displays. 

Most concerningly they lost 3-0 to Benfica in the Champions League last month – a result that saw club directors debate Koeman’s future until 4am before allowing him a stay of execution, but it was clear he was a dead man walking.

But it was the embarrassing defeat by Rayo Vallecano that sealed Koeman’s exit and just hours after arriving back in Barcelona, the club made the announcement official, with the search now on for his replacement. 

Legendary midfielder Xavi has already been installed as the favourite and is said to be in talks over the role – although Laporta has previously indicated he was not ready for a big job yet.

However, Sportsmail understands both parties now believe the time could be right to save the season and build around the young players that have emerged in the last 12 months.  

Legendary midfielder Xavi has been installed as the favourite to take over from the Dutchman

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