Carlos Ancelotti was particularly optimistic about the French coach's return to the Bernabéu.
Carlos Ancelotti was the last manager to win the Champions League title with Real Madrid in 2014 before Zinedine Zidane added three more to the Bernabéu trophy cabinet in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Zidane retired just days after winning his third consecutive Champions League title last May, only to return less than 10 months later to replace the under-fire Santiago Solari. And the current Naples manager, Ancelotti, spoke optimistically about the Frenchman's return to the coach’s seat in an interview with France Football.
“I would say that Zidane and Real Madrid are the perfect couple. They are made for each other. And that’s why it will work again,” he said. "As of next season, it will be necessary to have – both in Spain and in Europe – the Madrid of Zizou."
Zidane will have a chance for a fresh start in all competitions next year. But until then he will have to see out the rest of this season’s disappointing campaign, where Madrid’s only remaining target is a second-place finish in LaLiga. With the season more-or-less dead and buried, Ancelotti believes the Frenchman has returned at a wise and opportune moment -- under know pressure and with plenty of time to prepare for the 2019-20 campaign.
"Zidane has come back knowing what he’s doing. I don’t see any imminent danger for him," he said. "No one can hold him responsible for the results until the end of the season. He will be calm for several months and it is an important to have this serenity.
"It was a good idea not to wait until June to come back to Real Madrid because now he has precious time for observation, analysis and preparation for next season."
Ancelotti: "I owe everything to Zidane"
It is not the first time that Ancelotti has spoken highly of Zidane in recent months. A few months back in an interview with Il Corriere dello Sport, the Italian coach recalled the positive impact the Frenchman had on his coaching style while he was managing him at Juventus between 1999 and 2001.
"Zidane changed everything,” he said. “I built the team around him; I made him a tailor-made suit. I changed my style of football and for that I owe everything to him.”