Why did Zidane withdraw

Surprising return : Zidane is back as coach at Real Madrid

Zinédine Zidane won nine titles in two and a half years as coach with Real Madrid. His successors achieved little in the past nine months. After missing all of the season's goals, the Frenchman is now surprisingly back on the coaching bench at Real.

On his return to Real Madrid, Zidane wants to bring the troubled Spanish record champions "back to where they belong". "I am very happy to be back home," said the Frenchman on Monday evening at a press conference at Madrid's Estadio Santiago Bernabéu shortly after the announcement of his commitment. When asked whether he would renew the squad, Zidane said: "You have to change a few things, but that's not the point at first." He is not afraid of jeopardizing his good image in the club. “No, otherwise I wouldn't be here. The President (Florentino Pérez) called me. And since I love the president and also the club, I'm here. "
A good nine months after his resignation as coach of Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane returns to the troubled Spanish football champions as a complete surprise. The separation from the previous coach Santiago Solari and the commitment of the 46-year-old Frenchman were decided at a board meeting on Monday evening, as the club of Toni Kroos and captain Sergio Ramos announced. Zidane, who signed a contract until 2022, should take over training on Tuesday.
The club thus drew the consequences of a completely disappointing season. As defending champions, Real were already miserably eliminated in the last 16 of the Champions League against outsiders Ajax Amsterdam, in the league they are twelve points behind arch-rivals FC Barcelona, ​​where they also failed in the cup.
An organizing hand is urgently needed. As in the beginning of 2016, when Zidane replaced the unsuccessful Rafa Benítez, he was brought in again as crisis manager. Only that when he was the coach of the B-team he was a beginner in the coaching guild. This time he comes as a proven motivational artist.
In just two and a half years as head coach of the Madrilenians, Zidane won no fewer than nine titles, including the Champions League three times in a row as the first coach in football history. The man from Marseille resigned at the end of last season. At that time he spoke of "natural signs of wear and tear" as the reason for his decision.


Predecessor Solari was only in office for four months

They probably didn't apply to him at the time. The 1998 world champion, who also shone as a professional at Real in the 2000s, saw disaster coming. The success-spoiled stars around Kroos, Ramos, world footballers Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema were only rarely able to build on the performances of previous years this season after the departure of Zidane and after the move from superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus Turin .
The height of the crisis was reached between the end of February and the beginning of March. Within just six days, Real failed with clear home bankruptcies against Barcelona (0: 3) and Ajax (1: 4) in both the Spanish Cup and the Champions League. In this short period of time there was also a 0-1 league home defeat against Barça, which practically wasted all chances of winning the Primera División title.
After Zidane's resignation, Los Blancos signed the then national coach Julen Lopetegui in June 2018 - who was then removed from office by the angry Spanish association boss Luis Rubiales shortly before the start of the World Cup in Russia. At Real, Lopetegui had to leave at the end of October due to unsuccessfulness. Successor Solari - coach of the B team until his promotion - only stayed in office for a good four months.
In addition to Zidane, other great coaches such as the currently unemployed former Real Coach José Mourinho, Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri from Juventus were also in discussion. Two Germans were also traded as candidates: Jürgen Klopp from Liverpool FC and national coach Joachim Löw.
But Zidane was always the "number one favorite" of Real club boss Florentino Pérez, wrote "AS". The problem was therefore to persuade the French to end his sabbatical year early and to put the good image with the real fans at risk. In the end, the billionaire builder succeeded. The media suspect that the contract offered must be very lucrative.
The task of Zidane will now, as the media write, firstly be to ensure a "dignified end of the season". Even if you no longer have a chance for the title, Los Blancos could not afford to do without good performances, it was said. And more importantly: Zidane will have to initiate the "total cleansing" demanded by fans and media.
In addition to seasoned professionals such as Marcelo, Bale, Benzema and Isco, Kroos is also getting more and more on the hit list. Despite the 4-1 success at Real Valladolid, the 2014 world champion was again sharply criticized for poor use. In dangerous counterattacks, the 29-year-old former Bayern professional “didn't even hint” that he wanted to attack his opponent in charge of the ball. Meanwhile, Kroos saw the positive after the win: “Good reaction last night after a terrible week,” he tweeted. (dpa)

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page