4 problems at Real Madrid that appointing Zinedine Zidane will not solve
In one of the biggest shocks of the 2018/19 season, Monday saw Real Madrid announce that French legend Zinedine Zidane would be taking over the managerial reins at the club following the sacking of Santiago Solari after Los Blancos’ shocking UEFA Champions League elimination at the hands of Ajax.
The main reason for this move being such a shock? It comes just 10 months after Zidane resigned as Real boss following his third Champions League victory in a row with the Spanish giants. Zidane has signed a new contract until 2022, and evidently feels that he can solve the issues that have surrounded the club since he left back in May.
But is that really possible? Or is it the case that, while Zidane is a great manager, there are some problems at Real that he just can’t solve right now? That seems quite likely. Here are 4 problems at Real Madrid that the appointment of Zidane doesn’t solve.
#1 He can’t bring back Cristiano Ronaldo
Over the 9 seasons since moving to Real in the summer of 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo had become a genuine club legend, and clearly ended up justifying the world-record £80m transfer fee that Los Blancos paid out to bring him in from Manchester United. The Portuguese attacker scored a ridiculous 450 goals in 438 games for Real, and helped them to win 2 La Liga titles and 4 Champions League titles.
But CR7 was of course sold to Juventus in the summer of 2018 for a fee of €100m, and while that seems steep for a player who’s now 34 years old, it’s pretty clear that not only have Real never truly replaced their talisman, but he’s lost almost none of his incredible powers since making the move – as evidenced by last night’s Champions League hat-trick against Atletico Madrid.
Essentially, Ronaldo remains the world’s greatest player right now, and while Zidane returning to the Bernabeu might make Real fans feel like some of the aura from their trio of Champions League-winning seasons is back, a massive CR7-sized hole still remains in their squad – a hole that’s almost impossible to fill.
Unless things get really crazy – Juventus just wouldn’t want or need to sell him – there’s no chance that Zidane can bring Ronaldo back to the Bernabeu any time soon. Which means the problem remains. Ronaldo scored 26 goals and made 5 assists in the league last season, and Real were clearly a more potent attacking force with him – averaging 2.47 goals per game, while this season they’ve averaged just 1.7. And that’s an issue Zidane just can’t fix.