Exciting August: Zidane, Mourinho and Valverde

Exciting August: Zidane, Mourinho and Valverde

The two titles won by Real Madrid have resulted in three further consequences: the Spanish and European Super Cups and the Club World Cup. More fun. And in the first two, more fascination, the spicier side of football. The European Super Cup will be against Manchester United, a glorious club that, if it wasn't enough with its name and history, gives us Mourinho's presence in the dugout. Mourinho has outstanding business with Madrid. I still suspect that he is the failed love of Florentino. He misses the authoritarian and radical madridismo, and it shows. That doesn't disappear by accepting that the Champions League was delivered by other hands, gentle and persuasive.

Another Champions League | Zidane taking stock of his achievements.

Zidane's deft touch, not Mourinho

'Tener mano izquierda' (literally 'to have left hand'), is a Spanish expression synonymous with having the ability to convince, handling things with a deft touch. It does not come from politics, but from the bull ring, where you would fight and skillfully evade the beast with the left hand and finish him off with the right. Those that 'have left hand' include Del Bosque, Ancelotti and Zidane, whereas Mourinho and Benítez do not. To have it means being able to persuade, to endure, to rectify, to find the right moment, to understand... It's not easy managing a great squad. This is a group of legitimate egos, boys who have been adored since childhood, through school, through youth teams, in their family, across the whole country when they advance to the national team... But of all those in the squad, only eleven can play.

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho watches the qualifying session at the Monaco street circuit, on May 27, 2017 in Monaco, a day ahead of the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.

United and Barça for Madrid: what a start

This is what is faced by managers taking on the role at Madrid, at Barça, and at other teams of their level, of whom there are few. Some face that challenge by becoming part of the group. They endure what their team endures. Others handle the complexity of mixed egos with exceptional skill. Among those is Zidane, who has been spinning 22 plates in the air and who was fortunate to lose Bale to injury at an appropriate time. Now we get to see him begin a campaign against Mou's Manchester United, champion of that cup he said was worthless (when Benitez won it), and against Valverde's Barça, what a test. A great start to the 2017-18 season.