Pellegrini not interested in Real Madrid return, but won't rule out Barcelona

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Manuel Pellegrini says he will not return to Real Madrid and claims conditions were untenable at times during his spell as head coach.

The 63-year-old spent the 2009-10 season at the Santiago Bernabeu following a successful five-year stint with Villarreal, but he was sacked at the end of the campaign after failing to deliver a trophy.

Pellegrini has spoken in the past of the difficulty of working under president Florentino Perez, who spent vast sums on Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso without consulting the coach over his plans to build a squad.

The Chilean feels going back to the club is not something he will consider, though he insisted he was proud of their performances in LaLiga, as they finished second to Barcelona despite amassing what was then a club-record haul of 96 points.

He told Cadena SER: "I would have liked to have won titles. We had an amazing season, though Cristiano Ronaldo was out for three months. I would have liked to become champions but I would not have wanted to continue under the conditions as they were.

"I had no interest in continuing with Real Madrid in the way that we were working.

"Going back is never something I have in mind. From a personal perspective, I try never to go back to a club where I have already coached. I like new experiences. It's one of the reasons I went to China.

"Real Madrid will always be a source of pride. We had a very difficult year, where a huge amount was expected of me, but I was very happy when I left because there was a survey on whether I should continue or not and 75 per cent of the fans said that I had to carry on."

Ronaldo, in his first season in Spain following his move from Manchester United, managed 33 goals in all competitions despite missing several weeks with an ankle injury.

Pellegrini claimed it was clear from his first day that Ronaldo would develop into one of the club's all-time greats, and believes only Lionel Messi can stop him claiming the Ballon d'Or again this year.

"I had no doubt that he would become what he is today," he said. "One of the great things we did was to get 96 points in a campaign with Cristiano injured for three months.

"I think it [the Ballon d'Or] has to be between Cristiano and Messi because they are the only ones who have made a difference. You can't compare them."

Pellegrini, who took charge at Hebei China Fortune in August after leaving Manchester City, says he could be tempted to go back to Spain and would not rule out interest in the Barcelona job.

"I would be happy to go back to Spain at the right moment," he added. "There's nobody who wouldn't like to coach there [at Barca], but for now I'm focused on China."