Zidane Back At The Bernabéu
Real Madrid welcome back their three-time Champions League winning manager Zinedine Zidane!
It was has been one of the worst seasons for Real Madrid in recent history, there may just be one positive. Ten months since he stepped down Zizou has returned to hopefully bring trophies back to the capital next season. He said last night that he was “very happy to be home”.
Since his departure in May much has changed at the club. Their all-time leading goal scorer Cristiano Ronaldo has left and joined Juventus. A move the club has never recovered from. They have also been through two different managers. Julen Lopetegui who replaced Zidane and Santiago Solari who replaced Lopetegui.
Solari, much like Zidane, was an in-house appointment. He was brought up from the academy and got off to the perfect start. He won his first four games in charge. This is the best start to a managerial campaign at the club. However, things didn't remain this positive for the Argentine.
He lasted just five months and was sacked after what Balon d'Or winner Luka Modric called his most difficult week in his football life. In the last week, Madrid was beaten by Barca in the Copa Del Rey and the league to end hopes of any domestic trophy. They were then beaten 4-1 at home to Ajax in the Champions League. A trophy they have won for the last three years. This was their largest home defeat in the Champions League ever.
Solari did manage to leave on a high though. In his last game in charge Real beat Valladolid 4-1 away but the next day he was relieved of his duties. Zidane has already made history with the club by being the only manager ever to win the Champions League three times in a row. He is also the only manager to do it twice! However, he will be hoping to make more history and go and win La Liga. Something he only managed once in his three years, in the 2016-17 season.
It looks like Zidane's first job is going to be sorting out who stays and who goes at the club. Marcelo is apparently set to leave for Juventus where he has been linked for many years. Gareth Bale is another one, he should be the main man at Los Blancos but fans of the club have fallen out of love with him. There is also question marks around the future of the captain Ramos, he has apparently fallen out with club president Perez. The Spaniard though worked very well under Zidane so.
In terms of incomings to Madrid, many names are already being linked. Hazard is top of the list according to many people, the Belgian has been linked for many years and hasn't hidden his admiration for the club. Another name is Eriksen. The Spurs midfielder could be just the creative man the club are lacking. We don't know for sure who he will get but you can guarantee he will be given some money to spend!
There are 11 games left in the league and Madrid are currently 12 points behind. It looks like mission impossible for Zidane to win the league, but many would have said the same for three Champions Leagues in a row. If you think he can do the unthinkable the Bet365 are offering 50/1 odds on Madrid to win La Liga. Zidane does have a nack of making history…