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And to think Zinedine Zidane didn't want to be a coach...

And to think Zinedine Zidane didn't want to be a coach...

When he hung up his boots back in 2006, Zinedine Zidane couldn't have imagined even for a second that he'd become a fully paid-up member of the select club of Real Madrid's most decorated bosses.

Because, quite simply, he was utterly against the notion of becoming a coach.

Zidane's coaching U-turn didn't happen overnight...

His change of heart was a slow process, with his roles as 'first-team adviser' and 'director of football' at Real, as well as the masters in sports management that he took in France, leading him to realise what he in fact wanted to do with himself.

As he put it to me six years ago, before announcing that he was to take his coaching badges: "I want my ideas and my decisions to be seen out on the pitch."

Zidane with the Champions League trophy after Real Madrid's final win over Juventus in Cardiff earlier this month.

And he put everything in place to make sure he did that.

He studied his new profession in France, where it takes three years to qualify - much longer than in Spain - and visited a number of top coaches across Europe.

Zidane set out to learn from others, but also forge his own style

His humility as he learned his trade was key, but at the same time - following the advice of Carlo Ancelotti - he was determined that he wouldn't imitate anyone, and would forge his own identity, his own style.

As a player he put in the hard yards, sure; but his immense ability allowed him to wing it, too. As a coach, he's the complete opposite. There's less of an onus on natural talent - he's more about hard work, organisation and common sense.

Two ways to get to the very top. For the same guy.

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