After a very disappointing season, Real Madrid has appointed Zinedine Zidane as their new head coach for a second time. Zidane oversaw Real Madrid Castilla when he was promoted to the first team after Rafael Benítez was sacked in January 2016. In his two and a half seasons with Madrid, Zidane won the UEFA Champions League an unprecedented three times. Though he won the Spanish title and the and the Supercopa de España only once, in the season 2016/17. On the 31st of May 2018, five days after the Champions League Final, Zinedine Zidane announced his resignation from Real Madrid, claiming the club needs “a different voice” as his rationale for departing.
Following his resignation, Madrid has been struggling in both league matches and in the Champions League. After Real was surprisingly kicked out of the Champions League by Ajax in the 1/16th finals, manager Santiago Solari was fired and the search for a new coach could begin. Many analysts believed José Mourinho would return to Madrid, but in a jawdropper move it was Zinedine Zidane who made his comeback.
Zidane returned to Real Madrid after receiving a call from Florentino Perez, receiving a wage hike and most importantly: a £300 million budget (350 million Euro) to purchase new players. Zizou immediately got to work and Porto defender Eder Militao became the first signing of Zinedine Zidane’s second spell as Real Madrid manager. The Brazil international has put pen to paper with Los Blancos until 2025. The 21-year-old defender will join the club next season, the transfer fee is thought to be around €50 million (£42.7m).
Statistics show, and Zidane knows very well, that it is important for a football team to get off to a good start, and many more high-profile signings are to be expected over the summer. One of these players being Eden Hazard, who is determined to join Real Madrid after the Premier League season comes to an end in a few months. The 28-year-old will only have one year of his contract left this summer and has given no indication he would be willing to sign a new deal at Chelsea. Hazard’s love for Zidane is well known and his desire to play for Real is long-standing. After 7 years in London, the Belgian is more than ready for a new challenge.
Returning to Real Madrid, Zidane was warmly welcomed by the fans. Though the question remains if such a move is a good one for the career of the Frenchman. With the club’s last two managerial appointments being disasters, one might think Zidane has very little to gain from returning to the Spanish capital. Zidane has been given more responsibilities at the club and will have a bigger say in signing new players. Hence, Zidane vows to change things after returning as Real Madrid manager.
The question remains, however, whether the French former professional football player will be given enough responsibilities to turn things around. Zidane is expected to win La Liga and the Champions League, not an easy task for any manager. By the summer of 2020, we will know if his second reign at the club will have been a success or not.