Real Madrid are reeling in a state of shock following Zidane's decision to quit the club after winning three consecutive Champions Leagues. Several names have cropped up as potential candidates for the vacant coaching post and while Mauricio Pochettino is the principal candidate, Madrid are aware of the difficulty involved in luring the Argentine coach away from Tottenham. These are the list of qualities and skills which the new coach must possess as Madrid work against the clock to find Zidane's replacement.
As far as Florentino is concerned, the new coach must have language skills and be fluent in Spanish and English. That is one weak point against Jürgen Klopp, who is fluent in German and English but doesn't speak Spanish and therefore would struggle dealing with the players and the press. Since Florentino decided not to renew Del Bosque's contract in 2003, apart from Manuel Pellegrini, all of the coaches he has brought in have been mulilingual - Carlos Queiroz, José Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benítez, Zidane…
Smart, well groomed
Florentino likes Madrid coaches to be well dressed. Vicente del Bosque was always more comfortable wearing a tracksuit and maybe that didn't go down too well with the president - even if Madrid suffered after letting him go. Zidane and Mourinho presented themselves exactly how Florentino likes in a Madrid coach - both looked the part in bespoke tailored suits as well as in their training kit. André Villas-Boas also fits this profile, but not Klopp, whose dress sense is more casual. Pochettino is always well turned out when on duty with Spurs.
Respected by the players
Handling the Madrid dressing room is not easy, as Rafa Benítez knows full well. But more than a coach who rules with an iron hand, Florentino would prefer a coach who is admired and well respected. Zidane is an idol for most of the players in the current Real Madrid squad. Zizou was open with his players and they took on board what he said. Ancelotti was also highly respected by the players and the media - for what he had achieved as a player and as a coach and for his demeanour. Klopp and Pochettino would both have to work on winning over the dressing room - more so that more experienced coaches such as Scolari or Wenger.
Awareness of modern trends in the game
Florentino has never subscribed to the belief that a coach needs to exert an influence on a group of players with the kind of quality as Real Madrid boasts. And he still holds that view. He saw Zidane more as a people manager than a coach. And when he brought in a coach with a set of established technical rules like Benítez, he could see that it didn't work out. Now he is looking fo a coach who is modern and open-minded in his working methods.
Plotting a fitness plan
One of the reasons why Florentino sacked Ancelotti was that he felt the team was flagging by the time it reached the crucial part of the campaign. Zidane brought in Antonio Pintus and the results were impressive to say the least: Madrid were crowned European champions three seasons running and Pintus managed to curb the endless run of injuries which had plagued the squad. Whoever he chooses, Florentino wants a coach who plans the players' physical preparation well, as that is an area he considers to be fundamental to the team's success.