Real Madrid: Dani Ceballos throws strop at coach Carlo Ancelotti after delayed substitution
A Real problem? Dani Ceballos throws strop at Carlo Ancelotti after delayed substitution in Copa del Rey tie with Alcoyano as former Arsenal midfielder displays frustration at lack of game time since returning to Spain
Dani Ceballos waited five months to make his first appearance since returning to Real Madrid on Wednesday night against Alcoyano but did not exactly cover himself in glory.
The former Arsenal midfielder was making his comeback from injury but threw a mini tantrum at coach Carlo Ancelotti when he was asked to hold on for a moment before being brought on in the 86th minute for David Alaba in the 3-1 win in the Copa del Rey.
Ceballos got off the bench to get ready to come on but was then gestured by Ancelotti to hold back and he threw his arms up in the air in a sulk before returning to the bench to sit alongside Eden Hazard.
He eventually came on a few moments later but had little impact as Real had effectively put the game to bed already thanks to goals from Eder Militao, Marco Asensio and an own goal from Alcoyano 'keeper Jose Juan Figueras.
Ceballos' outburst was caught on camera by Spanish network Gol and was widely picked up by the national media.
Newspaper AS said Ceballos had 'rudely rebuffed' his coach, describing the incident as the latest blow to the Italian's authority from unhappy players.
In November, Isco refused to warm up during a match against Granada and had an argument with Davide Ancelotti, Carlo's son and assistant coach.
Ceballos, who returned to Real Madrid last summer following a two-year loan spell at Arsenal, has shown a lack of respect to his coach before, falling out with Zinedine Zidane when he played under him in 2019.
Ceballos has had a frustrating beginning to his second spell with Real due to a serious ankle injury he sustained while playing for Spain at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in August.
He tore ligaments in his ankle during a group match against Egypt and suffered a setback in his recovery, admitting in September: 'Sometimes in life you have to face difficulties you do not expect. But I'm still working hard to recover 100% from this injury, which is giving me more grief than I expected.'
Ceballos was seen as Spain's hottest young prospect when he broke into the Real Betis side in 2014/15 and inspired their promotion back to LaLiga.
He continued to impress in the top flight and both Barcelona and Real showed interest in signing him before Real agreed a £15million deal with Betis to sign him in the summer of 2017.
But he struggled to step up to the big time, making a miserable four LaLiga starts in his first season as he failed to impress Zidane.
He got more game time under Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari after Zidane resigned in 2018 but he then faced a setback when Zidane returned to the club in March 2019.
A few months later, Ceballos negotiated his loan move to Arsenal, where he also struggled for a consistent place in the team, making 35 Premier League starts in his two years in north London.