Three straight Champions League titles. One LaLiga. Two Club World Cups. Two European Super Cups. One Spanish Super Cup. The man with the golden touch.
Zinedine Zidane almost won it all during his first spell in charge of Real Madrid. Everything he touched seemingly turned to gold.
So it was no surprise to see madridistas giddy at the return of Zizou – especially following the relatively disastrous spells of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari at the helm. In a season in which Madrid were set to win just one trophy, the Club World Cup, there was light at the end of what had been a very dark tunnel.
Like the flick of a switch, many fans believed the return of Zidane would make everything good again. Wins would arrive, players would be happy, everything would be fixed.
Three wins and one defeat from four matches may be a good return as a club manager at most clubs in the world, but there has been little magic in the performances of Los Blancos since the return of the Frenchman.
Fans have stayed away from the Santiago Bernabéu, with crowds of just 50,000, give or take, in Madrid’s last two matches. Performances have been poor, too, with Madrid edging to victories over struggling Celta Vigo and Huesca at home, falling to defeat at Valencia and coming from behind to edge out Eibar at the weekend. There has been no quick fix.
Unlike last time, everything was set up for success. Zidane brought joy and success to a hungry set of players, players who wanted to win it all – and now have. Now, Zidane faces a much different challenge, a challenge to rejuvenate a squad that seems to have come to the end of its cycle.
There is no secret of Zidane, and the club’s, desire to freshen up the squad with some big name players this summer. Players such as Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane have all been linked. There will also be a outgoings, with Gareth Bale expected to lead the way. There are also doubts over players such as Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas. At the casino online UK you can try your luck at who will go and who will stay, but it appears that not even Zidane knows that yet.
Zidane needs more than just magic this time. He needs an eye for a good deal, an ability to bring together a fresh new squad with big names and even bigger egos and a new approach. The ability to start from scratch and not have things ready made.
Madrid have been poor this season and they have been poor under Zidane. There is no momentum to take into the new season and there is no confidence building, at least not at the moment. The end of the season can’t come sooner enough for players and coaching staff alike. You’re better off trying your luck at crazyvegas than watching the sterile conclusion to this season.
This time, Zidane will have to prove he really is the best coach in the business and not leave any doubts. A tough job lies ahead.