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Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti: I owe Sergio Ramos my job

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Carlo Ancelotti said he wouldn't be Real Madrid manager today if it weren't for Sergio Ramos, as he prepares to face the Sevilla defender in LaLiga on Saturday.

Ramos was a key player during the Italian's first spell as Madrid coach between 2013 and 2015, scoring one of the most famous goals in the club's history with the 93rd minute equaliser in their 2014 Champions League final win over Atletico Madrid.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
- Trophies, red cards & controversy: Sergio Ramos' best bits

The former Madrid and Spain captain rejoined boyhood club Sevilla last month as a free agent after leaving Paris Saint-Germain.

"I'd love to see [Ramos] and say hello," Ancelotti said in a news conference on Friday. "I have affection for all the players I've had, but above all I have special affection for him.

"If I'm here today it's because of Sergio Ramos. If he hadn't scored the goal in the [Champions League] final, I probably wouldn't be here. For that, and for everything he did for this club, everybody has a lot of affection for him... He'll play well for sure. Let's hope he doesn't score but if he does, he can [celebrate] however he wants!"

Ancelotti returned to coach Madrid in 2021 and won a LaLiga and Champions League double in his first season back, but has faced speculation about his future -- amid links to the Brazil job -- after missing out on both those trophies last campaign.

"As I've often said, I'm very happy at Real Madrid. I'll stop there," he said on Friday, when asked if he'd like to renew his contract. "You made it difficult for me with that question! Would I like to renew or not? I don't talk about my future."

- Stream LIVE: Sevilla vs. Real Madrid, Saturday 10/21, 12:20 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Madrid travel to Sevilla top of LaLiga on 24 points, three points ahead of third-placed Barcelona, before next week's El Clásico clash between the big two clubs.

The international break brought complaints from several Madrid players about how they've been utilised by Ancelotti recently, with midfielders Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouaméni asked to fill in at left-back and centre-back, and Rodrygo saying he doesn't enjoy playing at centre forward.

"Sometimes you have to make sacrifices," Ancelotti said. "Like Camavinga has, like Tchouameni has, like Rodrygo has sometimes... The demands of the team come first, and then individual demands.

"If I pick Camavinga at left-back, I'll inform him that he's playing there and ask 'can you do it?' Nobody has said no. Talking of Sergio Ramos, I picked him at pivot in a game against Atletico Madrid. Obviously he didn't like it. But with the demands of the game, I did it. There's a word for it, altruism."