"I was scared" - Real Madrid star admits he was nervous upon meeting Zinedine Zidane

Rodrygo joined Zinedine Zidane
Rodrygo joined Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid five years ago.

Real Madrid attacker Rodrygo has shed light on his first encounter with legendary former manager Zinedine Zidane.

Rodrygo, 23, joined Madrid from Brazilian outfit Santos in July 2019 for €45 million. Zidane was at the helm at the time after returning for a second spell in May of that year.

Zinedine Zidane became one of Real Madrid's most successful managers, guiding them to three consecutive UEFA Champions League trophies (2016,17,18). The French tactician also won two La Liga titles during his reign.

Rodrygo was part of the squad that won the La Liga title under the Frenchman in 2020. But, before that, he had to adapt to life in the Spanish capital with his new team and new manager.

The Brazil international touched on this and explained how he was embarrassed to join a squad glittering with talent. He said (via Madrid Xtra):

"On my first day at Real Madrid, I was a little embarrassed to arrive, with so many great players."

Rodrygo delved into meeting Zidane for the first time in which he admits he was scared:

"The coach was Zidane, when I saw him for the first time, the truth is that I was scared. But it was a very nice moment, then I spoke to him. That day was a dream."

Zinedine Zidane's man management is a quality that helped Madrid to massive success during his two spells at the Santiago Bernabeu. He oversaw 174 wins in 263 games during his time in charge of Los Blancos.

The two-time FIFA Coach of the Year spoke highly of Rodrygo and the qualities he possessed in 2020. He said (via Tribuna):

"He's okay, he's a player who's changing little by little, working hard. He's a lovely boy, good, and in the end, we benefit from his qualities."

Rodrygo has been a mainstay in Real Madrid's side since arriving on Spanish shores. He's bagged 50 goals and 39 assists in 199 games, winning nine major trophies


Real Madrid legend Cristiano Ronaldo hailed Zinedine Zidane's man-management

Cristiano Ronaldo flourished under Zinedine Zidane.
Cristiano Ronaldo flourished under Zinedine Zidane.

Cristiano Ronaldo is perhaps the greatest player in Real Madrid's history and with that maybe the best talent Zidane has coached. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner posted 112 goals and 30 assists in 114 games under the Frenchman.

Both Ronaldo and Zidane left Madrid in 2018 after winning three Champions Leagues in a row. The Portuguese great joined Serie A giants Juventus while the French icon did return for a second spell at the Bernabeu in March 2019.

Los Blancos' all-time record goalscorer, Ronaldo, touched on Zidane and his management style while playing at Juve. He said (via FOTMOB):

"I think Zidane managed the group very intelligently. It's not an easy situation because all players want to play a lot. He did a very smart job, involved all the players and it was very beneficial."

Zidane is still out of management since leaving Real Madrid for the second time in June 2021. He coached squads stacked with talent during his two-spell reign, including Ronaldo, Rodrygo, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric.

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Edited by Matthew Guyett