Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery claimed Monday that he has finally felt trusted again since Carlo Ancelotti took over as head coach from Pep Guardiola.
With Guardiola now coaching Manchester City after three years in Munich, Italian Ancelotti has taken charge of Bayern, who have won the Bundesliga title in each of the last four seasons.
Bayern flew to the US on Monday to play a friendly against AC Milan on Thursday, before further games against Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
Ribery had a professional, but cool relationship with Guardiola, which was not helped by the Frenchman’s injury-ravaged final season under the Spaniard.
The 33-year-old said he needs to feel the confidence of his coach “to play to my best”.
“Under Ancelotti, I finally feel like I’m trusted again,” Ribery told German magazine Kicker.
“He’s an awesome coach, I need people like him or (former Bayern coaches) Jupp Heynckes and Ottmar Hitzfeld.”
Alongside fellow veteran Arjen Robben, Ribery faces stiff competition for a place on Bayern’s wing from the likes of fleet-footed pair Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman.
Ancelotti tried to bring the former France international to Chelsea when he was the head coach at Stamford Bridge in 2009, and Ribery added that he now feels “free, completely motivated.”
Ancelotti has only been coaching Bayern for the last two weeks, but took Ribery aside to explain how he is part of his plans, describing him in public as “a fantastic player. I like his style and how focussed he is.
“He can still be very important for us with this quality and experience.”
Ancelotti, 57, will travel to the States shorn of his current Germany internationals, who are recovering from the European Championship.
But the Bayern squad will still boast the likes of Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso, Arturo Vidal, Thiago Alcantara and Ribery.
Bayern open the new Bundesliga season at home against Werder Bremen on Friday August 26, after facing rivals Borussia Dortmund for the German Super Cup on Sunday August 14.