About a month and a half ago, the French coach insinuated that he may not continue at the Bernabeu next season but now seems to have now made a u-turn. The USA vs. Ecuador live and direct: Friendly FIFA Date
Half way through the month of February, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insinuated heavily that he was unlikely to remain as first team coach next season pointing to the "emotional drain" involved in overseeing one of the world's biggest football clubs. Poor results coupled with external criticism may have had much to do with the rationale behind his comments. However, times move on and the French coach has had a change of heart, openly stating that he would like to remain on the Bernabeu bench next season. What are the motives for this u-turn?
Despite a disappointing campaign in LaLiga, Real Madrid fans know that currently there is no-one else better equipped to oversee the team. Zidane's imprint as a player at the club has translated to his management with the Frenchman having a longer credit life than his recent predecessors.
Eliminating PSG in the Champions League
Zidane passed this pivotal test with flying colours in a tie that he was aware could have affected his future on the Madrid bench. Real Madrid are now among the favourites to lift the Champions League trophy in Kiev and they now face Juventus in the quarter-final match-.up which sees a repeat of the 2016/17 season final.
Since February 17, Madrid have one five of their six league games beating Real Betis (3-5), Alavés (4-0), Getafe (3-1), Eibar (1-2) and Girona (6-3). The side lost to a last gasp goal against Espanyol (1-0) and managed to bag 20 goals in these games with just 9 conceded. They are now just four points behind second placed Atlético Madrid with the Madrid derby to be contested next week at the Santuiago Bernabeu.
Support from the squad
Zidane has always maintained a very good relationship with his squad from day one with countless players coming to his defence over the years in times of tension when results have not gone the way for the Frenchman.
3-in-a-row Champions League possible
A triple back-to-back win in the Champions League would see the 45-year-old enter the history books and the elimination of pre competition favourites PSG has fans of "Los Blancos" believing that a Kiev May triumph is a real possibility. Madrid face Juventus in a quarter final tie where they start as favourites with the Serie A side out to avenge defeat in last season's Cardiff final.
Lucas Vázquez, the future...
The French coach sees the Galician player as a key element in his future vision of his Real Madrid side. Despite currently offering his services from the bench, the Spanish international has been involved in the highest amount of games this season having won the confidence of Zidane with his ability to influence change in any given game. Vazquez is laso destined to be be on the plane to Russia with Julen Lpertegui and the Spanish national side as "La Roja" hope to emulate the achievement of the 2010 side by winning the World Cup for a second time.