The inevitable has happened! Zinedine Zidane has finally ended his love affair with Real Madrid. The 45-year-old decorated tactician has parted ways with the reigning European champions, just five days after he won the silverware. It goes without saying that “Zizou” has left his mark on the history of European football, and boy, what a prominent one it has been!
The former French superstar took charge at the Santiago Bernabeu two and half years ago, after the departure of their the then manager Rafa Benitez and showed his immediate impact on the side by winning the UEFA Champions League. More glory followed in the next term when the Galacticos claimed both the Spanish La Liga and UEFA Champions League titles and Zidane, who has been a prolific performer for Real Madrid as a player, earned his place among the legendary coaches of the world.
The last season, however, was far from being smooth for the Frenchman as the 33 time La Liga champions were not able to hold onto their crown and had to lose it to their fiercest rivals Barcelona. Los Blancos, however, continued their dominant run in the European competition and won their third straight Champions League trophy, which was also their third European trophy under the tutelage of Zinedine Zidane.
The 2017/18 season was not at all satisfactory from the point of view of the 13 time European champions as they succumbed to defeats to a number of unlikely opponents in the La Liga. In fact, their European campaign was also not exemplary as they faced defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur in the group stage encounter, which was quite unexpected.
This was probably the time when doubt started to creep into the minds of the Real Madrid faithful about Zinedine Zidane’s managerial style. The bagging of three consecutive Champions League trophies was, though, good enough to mute the critics.
However, many will deduce that the decision has come at a point when the Galacticos might be in need of a change in their playing style and a new manager can help them in achieving that. Zidane himself looked convinced about the fact as he spoke in the press conference, addressing the media while announcing of his departure. The Frenchman said, ” What I think is that this team needs to continue winning but I think it needs a change, a different voice, another methodology. And that’s why I took this decision.”
It comes as a shock to many and speculations are already rife regarding Real Madrid’s next manager. A number of names have already started to make the rounds, among which three can be picked as the probable candidates.
Yes, this might come as a surprise but no one can write him off as the former Arsenal manager is one of the best tacticians in the history of European football. He is not only known for his exemplary managerial style but also for the way he has developed the Arsenal team into one of the powerhouses in English as well as European football, bringing out the best from his players. It is believed that Wenger can be the best candidate for the job as he knows how to handle the egos of the “star” players, which the team at Madrid have aplenty.
It is just a matter of time for Chelsea to announce the departure of their present manager Antonio Conte and Real Madrid can well latch onto the opportunity to bring the Italian tactician to the Bernabeu. Known for his astute managerial techniques, Conte can be the perfect replacement for Zidane and might guide the Galacticos to more glory in the coming days.
The man behind the unprecedented success of Tottenham Hotspur over the last few years and the one to lead them to European glory, the Argentine has been by far one of the most speculated names to replace Zidane at the Spanish capital in the recent times. Though the 46-year-old has just signed a new deal and has committed his long-term future at the North London club, in football, you never say never!