Sergio Ramos has claimed Real Madrid have improved under Carlo Ancelotti because the current manager used to be a professional footballer, with Spanish newspapers suggesting his quotes are a new direct message to Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
The centre-back had a fraught relationship with the Portuguese manager during their time together in La Liga and the tension between the pair arose recently after Ramos questioned the commitment of Chelsea duo Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa to the national team.
Mourinho responded to Ramos saying the defender did not have the medical expertise of a doctor to make comments on the issue. And when asked about the Chelsea manager's answer, Ramos deliberately confused him with Celta president Carlos Mourinho, saying: "I have nothing to say to the president of Celta."
During their time together at Real Madrid, the centre-back claimed Mourinho did not understand the players because he had not been a footballer.
And now, far from burying the hatchet, Ramos looks to have reopened the rift, claiming that because Ancelotti is a former player, he is able to empathise with what the Madrid squad is going through.
Ancelotti recently led Real Madrid to their 17th victories in a row to break Mourinho's record of 15 consecutive wins for Los Blancos in 2010/11 and when questioned about the reasons for such a good run, Ramos said: "It is a collective effort, initiated by the coach.
"Words cannot fully explain what Ancelotti means to us – all of the praise and positive things we could say still are not enough. Every other day I find myself saying what a wonderful coach he is – I'm not doing it to appear nice, I mean it.
"He handles the dressing room to perfection. He was a footballer and he understands every member of the squad and gets the best out of each and every one of us. He will take each of us to one side for a chat if there is a problem but, most importantly, he extracts the very best from every player in the squad.
"We're all happy because on top of being a good coach, Ancelotti is a good person. He has won over the fans, his squad... he has our complete respect and we hope he remains our coach for a long time to come.
"Not only did he guide us to La Décima, he has also designed a project geared for the long term. We hope this run of victories continues for a long time, [led] by Ancelotti."