Zidane Makes Shocking Return To Real Madrid, Pens Deal Until 2022
Zinedine Zidane is suddenly turning into the most unpredictable manager in world football as he makes a shock return to Real Madrid less than a year since he dumped the club.
Zidane was confirmed as new manager of the Los Blancos this evening and has penned a deal that will see him stay at the club until June 2022 which effectively ends the speculation of a move to Juventus. Zidane will look to rescue the Los Blancos from a remarkable in-form and target winning La Liga next season and the UEFA Champions League with the additions of players like Eden Hazard.
The French manager had been the hot favourite to replace Massimiliano Allegri in Turin next season, regardless of the Champions League results. Chelsea were also believed to be interested in Zidane’s services.
Santiago Solari who replaced the Algerian born Frenchman was sacked following a series of poor results and Zidane re-appointed to the role he resigned from last summer.
With Zidane, Real Madrid had won three consecutive Champions League trophies, an all-time record. The 46-year-old had overseen 149 competitive games with the Merengues, also winning La Liga in 2017, the Spanish Super Cup in 2017-18, plus two editions of the European Super Cup and Club World Cup.
Zidane was linked with Juventus because he spent five years of his playing career with the Bianconeri, until his sale to Real Madrid in 2001.
On 12 January 2017, Madrid’s draw against Sevilla FC in the second leg of the Copa del Rey round of 16 saw him win his 40th consecutive match without a loss – creating a new Spanish record, beating Luis Enrique’s record of 39 matches undefeated with Barcelona. Zidane later led Madrid to the La Liga title, their 33rd in history, by defeating Málaga 2–0.
On 3 June 2017, Zidane led Real Madrid to a 4–1 win against Italian side Juventus in the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final at Cardiff to grab the club’s 12th European Cup (La Duodécima).
This victory meant that Madrid were the first ever team to win the Champions League back-to-back, as well as recording Zidane’s first double as coach, and the club’s first since 1956–57. With Real’s Champions League victory, Zidane became only the second manager to win the European Cup in his first two seasons in management, alongside fellow Real Madrid manager José Villalonga.
He later won the 2017 UEFA Super Cup 2–1 against Manchester United on 8 August. This meant Zidane was the first manager to win two UEFA Super Cups in a row since Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan in 1990. Five days later, Real Madrid beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou 1–3 in the first leg of the 2017 Supercopa de España.
Three days later, Real won the second leg 2–0, 5–1 on aggregate, while ending Barcelona’s consecutive scoring record in El Clásico. This title tied Zidane with Vicente del Bosque as the third most successful Real Madrid manager with 7 titles, one short of Luis Molowny, but still 7 away from Miguel Muñoz. This also meant, that at the time, Zidane had won as many titles in his managerial position in Real Madrid as games lost during his tenure. Zidane’s success saw him named Best FIFA Men’s Coach in 2017.
In December 2017, Zidane won his eighth trophy as manager when Real defeated Grêmio in the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
On 26 May, Zidane won the Champions League for the third time in a row, beating Liverpool 3–1 in the final. He became one of three managers, alongside Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti, to win the European Cup three times, while also becoming the first manager to win the trophy in three consecutive seasons.
On 31 May, five days after the Champions League Final, Zidane announced his resignation as Real Madrid manager, citing the club’s “need for change” as his rationale for departing. He returned as the head coach of Real Madrid on 11 March 2019, on a contract until summer 2022, replacing former teammate Santiago Solari.