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Zidane, the manager that left the Bernabeu on a high
- Updated: May 31, 2018
The Santiago Bernabeu has been hit by a sudden silence after the announcement of the one who undoubtedly leaves Real Madrid on a high, in contrast to the list of managers who have been at the managerial helm of the club in recent decades, its legend, Zinedine Zidane.
Rewind to the stages of the 2017/18 season when reports were rife that the Frenchman’s impact at the club was waning and that he’d end up just like one of those prestigious managers who were kicked out the doors of the club by the Madrid hierarchy. Are you done? Fast forward to now, and you’d be in awe of what Zidane has accomplished with the Real Madrid side in a relatively short spell with the club.
Zidane led his men to a third consecutive UCL win last Saturday, making it 3 UCL triumphs in less than 3 full seasons at the Bernabeu, a feat that has been achieved by no other. Even Pep Guardiola and his Barcelona side couldn’t come close. Well, January 4, 2016, was the date of his appointment to replace Benitez as Madrid boss, and as of today, May 31, 2018, Zidane has officially announced his resignation from his position at Madrid. What a way to leave on a high!
The Frenchman’s announcement comes as a shock and is definitely a development that many didn’t see coming, even media speculators didn’t see this coming. The Frenchman’s resignation has hit many by surprise, even club president Florentino Perez was emotional in his response to Zidane’s decision:
“I wasn’t prepared for this news,” he admitted.”I want to thank Zizou for his dedication to the job, his passion, and his affection.
“He’s an example for everyone, I hope that this doesn’t serve as a farewell, I want him to return someday.”
Zidane departs from Real Madrid but has left behind many remarkable memories and unprecedented feats for the club faithful to revel in. As a player, he gave them the satisfaction of seeing one of the best ever goals in the Champions League. As the club manager, in his final season, similar goals to that were replicated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale en-route their 13th UEFA Champions League triumph. As the manager, Real Madrid attained the feat of successfully defending the UCL, and also went one further by winning it thrice consecutively, A feat that will definitely stand unchallenged for decades, I daresay!
His time as manager of Madrid was one that saw Real Madrid become less extravagant in the transfer market, and yet still take the rest of Europe to the cleaners on the elite stage unlike when they would spend significant millions and end up begging for scraps off the dinner table of other powerhouses both domestically and on the European scene. His time at Madrid, saw Madrid re-emerge as the unarguable giants of European club football, one of the obsessions of the Madrid hierarchy in the recent past.
Nevertheless, Zidane leaves the club in good spirits and may be on the lookout for other major adventures in his managerial career. In the press conference where the announcement was made, Zidane said:
“Winning the LaLiga title last season is my best memory as the coach of Real Madrid,” he intimated.
“After three years it’s difficult to continue coaching, even more so after winning three Champions Leagues.”I just didn’t see clearly that we would win it again.”
When reporters sought to ascertain if there was a rift in the club that resulted in his decision, he quashed such speculations:
.”No, not at all, that has nothing to do with it,” he confirmed.”I had the respect of all the players, which has been fundamental in achieving such success.
“These players have nothing to do with my decision, it’s simply something I’ve chosen to do.
The Los Blancos hierarchy now have the unenviable task of looking for a new manager who can maintain the standard that Zidane has set at the club in his short spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, and hopefully, this doesn’t trigger similar decisions from some key players at the club who might also be eager for a new challenge elsewhere.