The Real Madrid boss has admitted that he allowed the German to move to Arsenal as he preferred to keep the Argentine attacker.
Mesut Ozil’s summer move from Real Madrid to Arsenal was one of the talking points of the transfer market, with many questioning the Spaniards’ decision to let the playmaker go.
Even some of the Santiago Bernabeu players have come out and voiced their frustration at the German playmaker leaving the Spanish capital.
Ozil has starred for Arsenal straight away and has played a considerable role in the north London side’s march to the top of the Premier League table.
"Yes, that was a football decision," Ancelotti told ESPN.
"For the balance of the team I preferred to have Di Maria.
"He has less quality than Ozil but I wanted him for his character and his help for the team.
“With Bale's arrival I believe it is more important to have Di Maria than Ozil, looking at the balance of the team."
Given the 4-2-3-1 system that Ancelotti has been employing in the Spanish capital, it is slightly confusing that he feels that Bale’s arrival means that he needs Di Maria more.
With Cristiano Ronaldo playing on the left, Isco or Luka Modric in the number ten role and Karim Benzema as the centre forward, it appears that Di Maria and Bale will fight it out for one spot on the right of Madrid’s attack trident.
Both Bale and Di Maria offer similar attributes; both are quick, direct and hard-working. Ozil however offers something different, in that his game is based around creativity, balance and guile.
Ancelotti’s admission that he opted to keep Di Maria over Bale is a confirmation that his Madrid side will put more emphasis on individual ability and a direct attacking approach than a calculated passing style.
Ozil’s creativity was a key asset to the Santiago Bernabeu side, and the German is certainly more of a team player that Bale or Di Maria ever will be. With Ronaldo also self-focussed also, there should be a concern that selfless players and creators are thin on the ground in the side’s attack.
If Madrid are in need of some inspiration at Camp Nou tonight against Barcelona, Ancelotti may well wish he had the craft of Ozil rather than the directness of Di Maria to call upon.
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