Carlo Ancelotti has expressed his delight at finally becoming Real Madrid coach. The Italian was finally confirmed as Jose Mourinho's successor on Tuesday, 24 days after the Portuguese left the Bernabeu to return to Chelsea.
"I am very happy to be here," Ancelotti said as he was paraded in front of the media for the first time on Wednesday. "I would like to thank the president because he has worked hard to bring me here."
Ancelotti faces the difficult task of raising a highly-talented Real squad from a disappointing 2012/13, in which they failed to win a major trophy and ended in a series of rows between Mourinho and senior members of the squad. However, the 54-year-old doesn't believe the rifts that affected the dressing room last season should carry over into his spell in charge.
"Mourinho is a great coach and I have a lot of respect for him," said the man who vacated the Paris Saint-Germain reins to take over in the Spanish capital. "He is a different character to me, but I have total respect for him.
"I don't know what happened here last year. This is a new dawn for me and the players. I don't think there will be any problems.
"I want to have a good relationship with my players. I have always had a good relationship with them. I don't think Madrid need a peacemaker."
Ancelotti also confirmed that club legend Zinedine Zidane would be part of his backroom staff. The 41-year-old Frenchman has worked in an ambassadorial role for the club over the past year alongside taking his coaching badges, and will sit alongside Ancelotti on the bench next season.
"He was a fantastic player," said the former Chelsea manager. "He has decided to have a role as a coach and he will be a very good assistant. He will be on the bench, but the problem is that he can't play."
Continental glory the priority
Ancelotti arrives in Madrid with a stellar CV, having won league titles as a coach in Italy, England and France, as well as boasting a prestigious playing career of his own.
However, it was the two UEFA Champions League titles he won when in charge of AC Milan that most attracted Real president Florentino Perez to bring him to Madrid, and Ancelotti is all too aware that Los Merengues ruling Europe for a tenth time is his principal goal during his time in charge.
"It is a great objective, for everyone associated with the club," he said. "I have the ambition and the responsibility to do this and it is not a problem. Winning the tenth European Cup could be such a huge motivation it could help."
Ancelotti's appointment is also expected to kick-start Real's moves in the transfer market. Malaga midfielder Isco is expected to make his move to the Bernabeu official in the next few days for a fee in the region of €30m. However, Ancelotti refused to be drawn on rumours linking Real with a number of other players, including Napoli striker Edison Cavani.
"The squad is very good and in the next few days we will talk about what we need," he said. "Today I can't speak about who will come and go. There could be some changes, but not many."