Top 5 UCL performances by Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid
Zinedine Zidane is arguably the greatest coach Real Madrid has ever had. It is a unique and marvellous achievement to be considered as the greatest coach of one of the most prominent football clubs. In his two and a half seasons as the Los Blancos's coach, he managed to win three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles and one LaLiga championship.
Zidane's Madrid is the first team in the Champions League era to win it three consecutive times.
After achieving a legendary status as a Real Madrid player, he was able to replicate the same as a coach. Many doubted that he would be able to be a good manager due to his lack of experience and poor record with the reserve team. Needless to say, he proved them wrong.
People believe that his man-management was his only asset as a coach. I completely disagree with this myth. He may not have his own philosophy but he surely knew how to counter other teams. He took advantage of the tall players in the side. Real Madrid 2016-17 were one of the stronger teams regarding aerial abilities in the history of football.
No matter how bad Real Madrid were playing in the domestic league, they always turned up on the Champions League nights. Here is a look at five of the greatest Champions League matches that Real Madrid played with Zidane as their head coach:
#5. Real Madrid vs Wolfsburg / 2015-16
This was one of the earlier matches Madrid played under Zidane. After being behind by two goals in the first leg of the quarterfinals, he inspired the team to a thrilling comeback. Real Madrid won 3-0 in the second leg courtesy to a hat-trick by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real were a joy to watch in the game. This was the start of an era of a team which refused to give up. Many comebacks were followed after this match, but this one remains the most special.
The sheer determination to win could be seen in every player's eyes. Cristiano did what he does best. The fullbacks helped to exploit the opposing defence and create space, which was a distinctive feature of Zidane's Madrid. Navas was solid at the back. Ramos, Varane and Casemiro allowed the rest of the team to attack carelessly.
Modric and Kroos pulled the strings and dictated the game, while Benzema helped to create space in the final third for the attackers and Bale also created some real goal scoring threats.
This game is on the list as it started an era. The comeback was Zidane's way of showing that what he can do in the big European nights. Real Madrid went on to win the 2015-16 UCL, giving Zidane his first European title after six months as the boss.