Welcome home- Zidane returns as Real Madrid manager, but is he really the best around?

Zinedine Zidane has returned as the manager of Real Madrid, only 10 months after leaving the Spanish giants.

He succeeds Santiago Solari who was appointed caretaker manager in October but was dismissed by Madrid after a shock exit in the Champions League to Ajax.

Zidane left Real Madrid after a Champions League Final success against Liverpool in 2018. Photo- Wikimedia

Zidane guided ‘Los Galacticos’ to their third consecutive European title against Liverpool in the 2018 Final, but now returns with his side third in the La Liga, 12-points behind leaders and El Classico rivals Barcelona.

The Frenchman’s record

Zidane took charge of RM Castilla (Real Madrid’s B team) in August 2014 but left the Segunda side in 2016 to manage their first team in January.

In 149 games, Zidane won 105, drew 28, only losing 16 games as manager picking up five honours in that time.

Team honours included two Champions League trophies in 2017 and 2018, La Liga title 2017 and the Spanish Super Cup in 2018.

On top of this Zidane was voted ‘Worlds Best Club Coach’ in 2017.

Zidane will hope to be the much needed catalyst to the remainder of Real Madrid’s season, after enduring a shock exit in this years Champions League as well as failing to keep up in domestic competitions.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez praised the reunion with Zidane.

“The best manager in the world has rejoined the club.

“Our destinies are once again united.”

Zidane moved to Madrid from Juventus in 2001 and has been a favourite with the fans ever since. Photo- Wikimedia

 

Zidane was linked with a job in the Premier League with Manchester United after Jose Mourinho was dismissed by the Red Devils.

Mourinho, also once in charge of Real Madrid, was linked with a reunion himself, before the decision to name fan-favourite Zidane was made.

 

Zidane speaking to BBC Sport: “It has been difficult from the outside looking in, I want to put this club back where it belongs.

“I have recharged my batteries and I’m ready to manage this great club once again.”

 

The task ahead

There are 11-league fixtures remaining in the 2018/19 season, and Zidane’s first game back will be at the Bernebeu as Real host a struggling Celta Vigo.

Perhaps the toughest of his remaining fixtures will come away against Getafe, in April- Getafe are currently fourth in the league, only six points behind Madrid after a surprise campaign.