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3 Statistically More Successful Real Madrid Managers Than Departed Zidane

zinedine zidane

No manager in the modern era has done what Zinedine Zidane managed in just two-and-a-half years in charge of Real Madrid.

Zizou, as he’s affectionately nicknamed by Los Blancos and French football fans alike, steered the Bernabeu boys to a hattrick of consecutive Champions League crowns.

No side has won the European Cup three times in a row since Bayern Munich in 1974-6, so Zidane’s achievement with Madrid is unsurpassed in over 40 years.

He has enjoyed the rare privilege of walking away from Los Blancos rather than being sacked, yet Zidane – from a statistical point of view, at least – is not the most successful manager in Bernabeu history.

Football is a results business, and his Real record of a 69.8 win percentage is only fourth best from among the permanent managers to have taken charge of this cornerstone club of Spanish football.

So, who are three coaches boasting a better stats record at the Bernabeu than Zidane?

1. Jose Mourinho

The Special One was in a loveless marriage with Madrid for three years from 2010 to 2013, and all because he had been on Sir Bobby Robson’s staff at Barcelona before striking out on his own in management.

Although Mourinho won La Liga and the Copa del Rey during his time as Real boss, he couldn’t follow up on the Champions League successes he enjoyed at Porto and Inter Milan just before arriving at the Bernabeu.

When he left Madrid, it wasn’t billed as a sacking but a departure by mutual consent. Mourinho still had three years left on his deal, but Real president Florentino Perez is a notoriously ruthless runner of the club as we’ll see.

Mourinho’s record with Los Blancos is a win percentage of a shade under 72 percent. Whoever succeeds Zidane, they are taking over a Madrid team who are 5/4 second-favourites in the bet365 La Liga betting to win the title outright next term.

2. Carlo Ancelotti

Real may be 13-time champions of Europe now thanks to Zidane, but it was elegant Italian manager Ancelotti who landed La Decima for Los Blancos back in 2014.

Like his French counterpart, incoming Napoli boss Ancelotti is a three-time Champions League winner as a coach, having landed Europe’s elite club competition twice at AC Milan during a dynasty that contained some of Serie A’s all-time greats.

Ancelotti, as with Mourinho, is accustomed to taking on some of Europe’s top jobs and left dominant France footballing force PSG in the summer of 2013 after guiding them to their first Ligue 1 title in almost 20 years.

Although he was unable to lift La Liga, Ancelotti win percentage of 74.79 is staggeringly high. Perez showed no compunction sacking him at the end of the 2014/15 season when Los Blancos finished second in La Liga by two points when outscoring Barcelona.

3. Manuel Pellegrini

New West Ham United manager Pellegrini has always had an air of dignity about him, yet is another to have been treated pretty shabbily by some of the top European clubs.

The Chilean’s excellent work at Villarreal, where he took a team of modest means all the way to the Champions League semi-finals in 2006, saw Real come calling three years later.

In his sole season at the Bernabeu, Pellegrini won three-quarters of his matches, yet had no trophies to show for that outstanding feat.  That lack of silverware was reason enough for Perez to dispense with his services and install Mourinho in the Madrid hotseat.

Poor Pellegrini endured something similar at Manchester City where he won the Premier League title and two EFL Cups after rebuilding his reputation at Malaga when Pep Guardiola became available.