La Liga: Real Madrid reappoint Zinedine Zidane as manager
Europe's most successful club, Real Madrid, on Monday, reappointed Frenchman Zinedine Zidane as the manager of the club. Zidane, who quit the club just 10 months earlier, had immense success with them as they won the UEFA Champions League thrice under his helm. Zidane, who is an alumnus of the club, had also won six titles during his playing days. Here's more.
Zidane has replaced Santiago Solari, who was in charge of the club for only five months. Notably, Solari had taken over Julen Lopetegui, who had a torrid time managing Los Blancos. Solari won just one title with Madrid (FIFA Club World Cup 2018). Madrid's poor run in La Liga this term and pre-mature exit from the Champions League led to sacking of Solari.
Club President Florentino Perez, on this incident, said, "He forms part of this club, he loves Real Madrid - this is his home and he has the opportunity to continue here - if he wants to."
Apart from winning three Champions League titles in a row, Zidane had won a total of nine titles with the club during his reign: La Liga: 2016-17 Supercopa de España: 2017 UEFA Champions League: 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 UEFA Super Cup: 2016, 2017 FIFA Club World Cup: 2016, 2017 As the above stats reveal, he had a major say in Madrid's domination of Europe.
While Zidane had immense success at Madrid, it came a shock when he announced that he won't extend his contract with them. Nonetheless, when further interrogated on the reason why he is leaving the club, he simply cited the same as the club's "need for change". Further, there were rumors that he was eyeing for a job in England, preferably with Manchester United.
The main job that Zidane faces is to rebuild the club and start right from where he left. His primary task would be to fill in the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo, with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale struggling to make an impact. Although Benzema often finds himself on the scoring list, Bale has failed miserably, let alone to fill in for Ronaldo.
Bale was one of the players backed to fill in for Ronaldo. However, he has failed to prove his worth, having scored just 13 times in 34 matches, this term. Further, he wasn't in the good books of Zidane during his earlier reign. If Bale's form doesn't revive, he could be on his way out next season, with Manchester United interested in his services.
It is believed that Sergio Ramos will continue to lead the side. However, it is also being reported that Zidane is eager to bring in new faces, with Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen being on his target list. Also, there are reports that Zidane would be given all the authority to handle the senior team, as he deems fit.
Now that Madrid are back under Zidane, everybody is wondering if the club still has a chance to win La Liga this season. With 11 games to go, Madrid are currently 12 points behind leaders Barcelona. Although doable, not just it would require sheer consistency from Madrid, but Barcelona would need to lose some matches, which looks unlikely considering their current form.