Real Madrid's defeat to FC Barcelona in Sunday's El Clasico has damaged Zinedine Zidane's credit level at the Santiago Bernabeu and a trophy-less season for the club could see the French coach dismissed (as was the case with Carlo Ancelotti following a season in which Madrid failed to secure a major honour in 2015) come the end of the current campaign
Atleti fixtures vital
The forthcoming Champions League games against Atletico Madrid now take on a different dimension with the late Messi goal at the Bernabeu securing top spot for the Catalan side in the table with just five rounds of fixtures outstanding (despite the club from the capital having a game away to Celta in hand). Qualifying for the Cardiff final is now deemed as imperative by Real Madrid club directors.
Club insiders have already speculated about future candidates with German national team boss Joachim Löw in pole position despite him having a contract with the DFB to oversee Die Mannschaft through to 2020. Chelsea coach Conte and Artgintine Mauricio Pochettino are other names that have been linked with a move to the Spanish capital.
Despite lifting the Champions previously for the club, Heynckes, Del Bosque and Ancelotti were all dismissed from their position as head coach at the club and Zidane's recent ambiguous answers when questioned about his continuity with Real Madrid have done nothing to convince doubters that the former player will still be the first team coach for the 2017/18.
'BBC' blind faith
Critics of the French manager have pointed to his insistence in playing with the "BBC trident" despite their defensive shortcomings and his inability to placate peripheral squad players such as Isco, Morata, Asensio and James Rodriguez as motives to doubt his ability to coach Real Madrid.