Zinedine Zidane is a former footballer from France and is considered as one of the best players of his generation. As a player he has won the tournaments like La Liga, Serie A, Champions League. He has also laid his hands on the FIFA Best Player of the Year and the Ballon d‘Or awards.
Managerial Career and Titles
Zinedine Zidane was appointed the coach of Real Madrid’s B team, Real Madrid Castilla in 2014-15. Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach to Carlo Ancelloti in the first team of Real Madrid.
In 2016, he replaced Rafael Benitez as the manager of the first team of Real Madrid. He made his mark in no time, beating their arch rivals FC Barcelona 2-1 in El Classico that ended their 39 game unbeaten run. This was the first of the many instances under Zidane where Madrid showed their propensity to catch up with Barcelona, after lagging behind in the recent past under managers like Jose Murinho and Rafael Benitez.
He ended his first season on a very high note by winning the UEFA Champions League and joining the elite list of players who have won the Champions League both as a player and a manager.
In the December of 2016, Madrid won the FIFA Club World Cup. Zidane made a record of going 40 matches unbeaten, thus crossing Louis Enrique’s mark of 39 games with Barcelona. The same season, Madrid ended up winning the La Liga, making it a cherry on the top.
He was awarded the FIFA Best Men’s Coach Award in 2017.
However, Madrid’s performance dipped in the 2017-18 season, finishing third behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the La Liga and finishing 2nd in their pool in the Champions League.
But despite their poor league form, Madrid and Zidane upped the ante in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, and eventually beat Liverpool 3-1 in the final to win their third successive Champions League title, and their 13th overall.
On 31st May 2018, Zidane announced that he would step down from his position as manager of Real Madrid.
Zidane has proven himself to be a successful tactician, which is reflected in the remarkable way his team has performed in. His greatest strength is to perhaps shuffle the line-up in a way which not only counters the strength of the opposition, but also maximizes the utility of the depth of the current talented Madrid side.