Zidane returns to Real Madrid: five Champions Leagues won
Zinedine Zidane returns to the Real Madrid as the new coach 284 days after hoping to turn around the fortunes of the club and build on his 104 wins, 29 draws and 16 losses in 149 games
The momentous return of Zinedine Zidane. Nine months, eight days and two managers after quitting the Real Madrid bench, the French coach returns to resume the position. It will be the Gaul's third phase at the club as player, manager and assistant manager, a home where he can boast five European Cups.
Zidane: a path to Madrid glory
The entirety of Zizou's management career has been at Real Madrid. At the end of 2010, four years after his retirement as a player, he joined the club as liaison to the squad during part of the José Mourinho leadership and then was assistant under Carlo Ancelotti during the Italian's first season. The duo won the Champions League in Lisbon, following which Zidane decided to start out on his own path, taking the reins of Castilla. It was a disappointingly mixed season and a half. He failed to make the play-offs in his first season (finishing sixth after being top with just 12 games to go) and then he left them in second position at the end of the first round of fixtures when he moved onto the first team.
His record at the top table will go down in history. In two and a half seasons he won three Champions Leagues, one LaLiga title (coming as part of a European/domestic double in 2017), two Club World Cups, two European Super Cups and one Spanish Super Cup. Individual accolades came in the form of FIFA's 'The Best' Award in 2016-2017. This silverware was complemented by some clever man-management, for example, when he convinced his aging star player Cristiano Ronaldo of the need to reserve energy for the key moments of the season. This seemed to work a treat for the European adventures in particular.
A feeling of exhaustion as manager was cited as one of the reasons to justify his resignation. "The players need a change. This is a demanding club, where we push the players to the limit and there comes a moment when you cannot ask for more," he said in the summer of 2018.
That goodbye left him with an overall record of 104 wins, 29 draws and 16 losses across 149 games.
Zidane: the Galáctico
As a player, Zidane was one of the stars of the so-called 'Galácticos Madrid', a team build from the turn of the century. He arrived in 2001 and kept his place until the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009, at the time the most expensive transfer in football history. His arrival from Juventus for 78 million euros was followed by two seasons where he lifted a Champions League trophy at Hampden Park (with a never-to-be-forgotten volley), an Intercontinental League, a European Super Cup and two from Spain. From then the team went into a decline from the 2003-2004 season, a drought that lasted three years, until his retirement from football after 227 games in the famous white shirt.
Before his playing spell in the Spanish capital, Zidane wowed the supporters of Juventus, Girondins and Cannes. He was also part of the 'golden generation' in France that went on to win the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship.
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