Zinedine Zidane’s return to Real Madrid has left many pundits wondering if this decision will make or mar his legacy with Real Madrid as a coach.
His exit followed statements that implied lack of satisfaction with the management of the Spanish football giant. "I would stay but as you don't want to follow my lead, I better go," Zidane said.
He left after winning three Champions Leagues in a row and a league title
Zidane, prior to leaving about 283 days ago, argued the team "has to keep winning and for that to happen it needs a change".
Going on, he said: "I am a winner, I do not like losing. If I cannot see things clearly, as I would like, and that we are not going to continue winning, it is better not to carry on and not mess about."
With Zinedine Zidane’s exit, their star striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored about 450 goals for Real Madrid, also left the club. Before exiting, Ronaldo also became the first player to score in eleven consecutive Champions League games.
The exit of these two living legends definitely left a big hole in Real Madrid. Due to losing steam, two coaches after Zidane have gotten the boot in less than one year (about 9) of his exit. Julen Lopetegui, lasted until 29 October, and Santiago Solari, who in less than a week oversaw a collapse of monumental proportions also has seen the exit door.
In what is arguably the worst six day period in the club's history - between 27 February and 5 March - they were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Barcelona with a 3-0 home loss and a 4-1 aggregate defeat, and finally lost any slim remaining chance they might have held of winning the league (a 1-0 loss to Barcelona), and suffered humiliation and elimination against an underrated Ajax in the Champions League (4-1 defeat, 5-3 on aggregate) in front of their terribly dismayed home fans!
Can Zidane be better than the Zidane that left Real Madrid about 9 months ago?
As it stands, Real Madrid has no major task before them other than to qualify for next season's premier European competition, and of course to save face and pride - this can be achieved under Zidane.
But how much changes can he make in the team to restore the dread other teams had for the club? Can he bring back the quality that was seen in Cristiano Ronaldo who ensured that a goal got into the net in every game on the average?
Gareth Bale, 29, one of Real’s strikers had difficulty playing under Zidane and even considered leaving the club under him. Will he be replaced under a returnee Zidane, or will financial considerations make Zidane test his managerial skills by working with Bale? There are rumors about bringing Neymar and Kylian Mbappe (World cup winner) to the club. But Paris St-Germain's seem uninterested in trading these talents. Chelsea’s Eden Harzard who has never hidden his admiration of Zidane and a desire to work with him might be lured to Real Madrid.
For Zidane to have returned, following his complaints about not given a hand to make the changes he wanted, Club president Florentino Perez has promised him big control over vital decisions that will get the team on winning ways.
However, despite all the changes that Zidane might make, the big hill he has to surmount would be beating his already established records. For a man who is “…a winner, I do not like losing,” what are the prospects that he can win the Champion’s League back to back again before making it a treble?
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