The love story between French legend Yazid Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid’s President Florentino Perez continues, after Zidane, who etched his name into football history, as the only manager to lift the UEFA champions league title three times in a row, put pen on paper to become Real madrid’s Manager for the second time.
After an unprecedented three consecutive wins in the UEFA champions league, 46 years old Frenchman with Algerian origin Zinedine Zidane, decided to call it a day on his Real Madrid career.
Zidane was part of Real Madrid’s famous Galacticos. He wrote his name in Real Madrid’s folklore with a goal which pundits have described as ‘out of this world’ in the 2002 UEFA champions league final against Bayer Leverkusen.
The legend’s last game as a player was in the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup which ended with a ‘disgraceful’ sending off when he head butted Italy’s Marco Materrazzi.
After a coaching spell with Real Madrid’s reserve team, Zidane, was promoted to be Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant in a season that saw Real Madrid win their 10th champions league trophy. In the following season, Ancelotti was shown the door due to a difficult campaign and Raphael Bernitez was hired to take Real back to the top.
Bernitez did not leave up to expectations and Zidane was given the keys to the Bernabeu White House. Marking the beginning of a historic era in the good books of the Spanish giants. Zidane went on to manage the team in 149 games, recording just 16 defeats, winning 9 trophies in three seasons including three consecutive champions league titles.
At the end of last season, the Frenchman resigned at time that it was least expected. Julien Lopertegui was given the job, but the managers demeanour came under serious scrutiny due to poor run of form to the start of the season. Consequently he was replaced by one of Zidane’s teammates during his playing days at Real, Satiago Solari.
The Argentine who was promoted from Real’s youth team began with a lot of enthusiasm but the wheels fell of with Real’s elimination from the Copa Del Rey, a 12 point gap with league leaders FC Barcelona and above all a disappointing elimination in the Champions League at the level of the round of 16, for the first time since 2010, by a very youthful and inexperienced Ajax of Amsterdam.
The Madrid’s outfit unprecedented ousting from the UEFAChampions league was the last straw for the Satiago Solari’s era .
Ones again against all expectations Zidane said ‘yes’ to Florentino Perez just like he did in 2001 when he moved to Real Madrid from Juventus of Turin and when he accepted to succeed Bernitez.
Zidane’s task is certainly to revive a team which has lost its way with so many players who seemed to have overstayed their welcome. The Spanish press is talking of an envelope of 300-350 million Euros for the recruitment of new players and a free hand in the management of the club. These are very attractive promises and prospects for the club.
The negotiations behind the scene to land Zidane back to Madrid for a job he turned his back on nine months ago is not clare. Eventhough Zidane’s wife is a Spaniard and his children are playing for Real’s youth teams, sources say these alone could not have been enough to convince the principled soft spoken Franco-Algerian foootball genius to accept Florentino Perez’s call.
He has just signed a three and a half years contract to bring back life and success to the Bernabeu.
Marcelo, Bale, Isco and others will feel it’s their time to shine again while considering their positions in the bigger picture. Zinedine Zidane left in glory and is he is back as a savior?