Can Real Madrid fare better under the legendary Zinedine Zidane?

Published: April 25, 2015
Email

Zinedine Zidane is a World Cup legend. PHOTO: AFP

Zinedine Zidane was announced as the new manager for Real Madrid’s reserve team, also known as the Real Madrid Castilla. UEFA Golden Jubilee named Zidane as one of the greatest European football player in the past 50 years. So this shows how great a step this is for the reserve team.

Zidane’s achievements boast of two winning goals for France in the final of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, he was named the Player of the Tournament during the UEFA Euro 2000, while in 2002, during the UEFA Champions League, he scored one of the most iconic goals of all time. His 2001 transfer from Juventus to Real Madrid was a world record deal at that point in time.

Photo: AFP

After his retirement, Zidane has worked in different roles with Real Madrid. He started as an advisor to the president, Florentino Perez, and later, on the demands of former coach Jose Mourinho, he was selected as special adviser to Real Madrid’s first team. In 2011, Zizou became Real Madrid’s sporting director, and further on in 2013, he was elected as an assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti.

Zinedine Zidane (R) and Carlo Ancelotti. Photo: AFP

However, due to some devastating defeats in the past two months, the press is speculating that Zidane might take up the title from Ancelotti as Real Madrid’s manager. Zidane said he would be keen to become Real Madrid’s coach, although he claims he is in no hurry.

“If the role is offered to me I would agree to it but once again there is an amazing coach in place. I’ve learnt a lot from Carlo Ancelotti and he knows how highly I think of him. He is the perfect coach for Real Madrid, despite what people are saying. If the post of Real’s coach was proposed to me, I would certainly agree. But there is a coach right now who is doing a very good job. And I’m still learning.

Am I ready for the job? You are never ready, and even if you’re not, you still say yes. As a player, I didn’t forge my career in just two years. Things happen gradually. In coaching, it will be the same,” said Zidane.

Ancelotti had a brilliant season as he helped Real Madrid win their 10th UEFA Champions League Trophy after a gap of 12 years, and similarly the Los Blancos won 22 matches in a row at the start of the season, as well as won the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup. But unfortunately, the year 2015 has not been as great, as the club has lost some big matches to Atlético Madrid Barcelona, and Athletic Bilbao which resulted in losing their top spot to bitter rivals Barcelona in the La Liga standings, and a humiliating 4-3 loss to Schalke in their home ground during the UEFA Champions League.

Now pressure is mounting on Ancelotti and everyone is depending on him to win the UEFA Champions League or the La Liga trophy this season. If he fails to do so, it could mark his downfall.

Photo: Reuters

Recently Zidane was spotted in Munich, with Bayern Munich’s coach Pep Guardiola, learning innovative tactical systems and coaching techniques, which has added fuel to the speculations that Zidane is being prepared to replace Ancelloti at the end of the season. Similarly, for Real Madrid, it would be a new experience following in the footsteps of Barcelona in promoting their reserve team manager to club manager.

However, if Zidane becomes Real’s manager, he would understand the club extremely well as he has worked in different positions and understands the problems of the players and knows the players very well. He has also played with the assistant manager, Fernando Hierro in Real Madrid; they could form an excellent duo. He is also on brilliant terms with the president, and lastly he is a legend among fans who respect him unconditionally.

But the question remains: Can Zidane handle a job of such magnitude and pressure with barely any experience as a manager? Especially while managing one of the biggest football clubs in the world?

Only time will tell.

Come what may, Ancelloti is a brilliant manager and rumours are that he may be moving to Manchester City, as Manuel Pellegrini may be getting sacked. Similarly, Jürgen Klopp’s announcement to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of this season has increased speculations about him moving to the top English clubs or any of the top two clubs in Spain, including Real Madrid.

Jurgen Klopp. Photo: AFP

The question is, will Florentino Perez stick with Ancelloti or replace him in the next season with Zidane or Klopp?

Bilal Muzaffar

Bilal Muzaffar

A freelance sports writer who would like to work as a professional sports analyst in the future and is currently doing his MS. A big football fan who also enjoys watching F1, tennis and cricket. He tweets @bilal__mu (twitter.com/bilal__mu)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.