Zidane in AS: a gentleman's letter
Zinedine Zidane chose AS to explain himself to madridistas and to football fans in general. He did so with a letter of a gentleman, which is what he is. Using respectful words, he expounded why he was leaving: effectively because "the club doesn't give me the confidence I need.” Coaching one of these ‘superclubs’ (and Real Madrid is the most ‘super’ of all) is difficult, but coaching it with someone else's ideas is impossible. And being faced with uncomfortable questions at every press conference, questions he identified as being inspired by his boss, is exhausting. He does, though, maintain his gratitude to Florentino Pérez for bringing him to Madrid, where he has been happy for so many years, but...
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Iron hand in a velvet glove
Zidane penned his farewell with an iron hand within a velvet glove. There is no hint of resentment, but neither does he hide his disappointment: "The club does not offer me the support to build something in the medium term,” he wrote. "I would have liked my relationship with the club and the president to have been a little different in the last few months.” he added. Although calmer and more collected than any of his predecessors, Zidane has nevertheless had the moral courage to explain what others who went through the same thing preferred to avoid. It was no secret for those of us who work close to that house: Florentino does not give the coach the space he expects and deserves.
Zidane: fan explanation, successor warning
Zidane returned to the club with a request for Pogba. And he didn't get him. He has departed after asking for the renewal of Sergio Ramos’ contract. He didn't get that either. Along the way there has been a string of disagreements, some major, others minor, all carried by the Frenchman with the discretion of someone who reveres the institution (that's what the whole letter distils) and doesn't want to see its dirty laundry washed in public. But discretion and good manners should not be confused with submission and cowardice. Zidane is neither submissive nor cowardly, and because he is not the former he is leaving and because he is not the latter he reveals to us why. His letter contains the explanation of his latest exit that madridistas deserve, but at the same time he issues a warning to his successor.