23rd January 2021
Zinedine Zidane
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Zinedine Zidane returns as coach of Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane has made a shock return as coach of Real Madrid after the club decided on Monday to sack Santiago Solari.

The Frenchman parted company with Real Madrid last May after guiding them to their third successive Champions League triumph.

Zidane’s new contract starts with immediate effect, and will initially run for 3 seasons, until June 2022, the club has announced.

Real Madrid have been a shambles since Zidane’s departure, sacking his successor Julen Lopetegui four-and-a-months into his reign.

Former Real midfielder Santiago Solari succeeded Lopetegui on a temporary basis but failed to turn things around.

Zidane will be in charge for Madrid’s La Liga game at home to Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane (RealMadrid.com)

His priority will be to secure Madrid’s place in the top four after a turbulent fortnight that has seen them lose twice to Barcelona and knocked out by Ajax in the Champions League.

Zidane won that tournament in each of his three seasons in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu, as well as La Liga in 2016-17, while enjoying a strong relationship with the majority of the players.

Gareth Bale was one of the few not to see eye-to-eye with the Frenchman and Bale’s future will become even more uncertain.

Zidane originally became coach at Real Madrid on 4 January 2016. In two years and five months at the helm he clinched nine titles: 3 Champions Leagues, 2 Club World Cups, 2 UEFA Super Cups, 1 LaLiga title and 1 Spanish Super Cup.

As well as the trophies, the coach also broke several records. He had the best record of any Real Madrid coach in the first 70 games (51 wins, 14 draws and 5 defeats). With him at the helm, the also team broke a Spanish record for consecutive games scoring (73) and the most games unbeaten (40). Most importantly, he was the only manager to win 3 European Cups in a row.

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