Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has given his seal of approval to new Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.
The 54-year-old Italian left his post with Paris St Germain to take up the reins last month, replacing Jose Mourinho at the Galacticos.
And Del Bosque, who sat in the Bernabeu dugout between 2000 and 2003, believes Ancelotti has the right amount of experience and expertise to succeed at the Spanish giants.
“Ancelotti has achieved great success, he understands European football well and perfectly fits the profile a Real Madrid coach needs,” he told reporters.
“He is an excellent coach, he will have a great squad available to him and we hope that it’ll be a great season for Spanish football.”
Del Bosque also thinks Madrid goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas, who spent most of the latter half of last season on the sidelines due to injury and then losing his place in the team to Diego Lopez, benefited from playing for the Spain team in the Confederations Cup.
“Iker feels wanted again and feels like a footballer again,” he said.
“I can tell he feels happier, and the longer he was with the team, the better he felt. Being with the team raised his spirits.”
The Spain coach was just as optimistic about the future of new Madrid signing Isco and is certain the former Malaga midfielder will get first-team opportunities, despite joining one of the most competitive squads in Europe.
“He is a quality player with a lot of talent, and he will get the chance to prove his worth and play a lot,” Del Bosque said.
“Big teams need big squads because they play so many games,” he added, defending Madrid’s decision to sign the 21-year-old, despite already boasting a midfield containing Xabi Alonso, Mesut Ozil, Luka Modric, Kaka and Sami Khedira.
And Del Bosque denied that Spain and Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez was entering a stage of decline after a disappointing Confederations Cup campaign, and stressed that Manchester United target Thiago Alcantara is highly valued by the La Liga champions.
“When something happens like what happened in the Confederations Cup final, people always make scapegoats out of the most symbolic players,” he said.
“I don’t think you can question Xavi for his age or for his performances. He’s still as good as anyone.”
“The most important thing for Thiago is that he keeps on getting games,” he said when asked about the Spain Under-21 captain, who is reported to be on the verge of a move to Old Trafford.
“I think he would get them at Barcelona, he is held in a very high regard at the club.”