by Andrew Doulton - 6th January
Is Zidane the Real Deal?
As a boy growing up watching football, Zinedin Zidane was one of the greatest players. He truly was a complete player who had a magic touch, amazing skill, raw power and he had the ability to pick a pass out of nowhere. There was also another side to Zidane’s game that would often rear its head during important games. Regardless of his temperament it was his ability that most remember him for and it was this that saw him win the Ballon d’Or and 3 FIFA World Player of the Year awards. Obviously his list of personal awards is ridiculously long so it speaks wonders for his personal ability and determination.
Zidane went on to have a incredible career as a player and I personally remember some of the moments well growing up especially a certain goal that he scored in the Champions League Final for Madrid but also his performances in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. The sad thing is there is one thing that always springs to mind is the head but incident with Matterazi in the final during extra time, Italy went on to win on Penaltys. That aside he really has won the Serie A, La Liga, Champions League, A European Championship and the World cup which you will struggle to find many players with such an impressive amount of titles.
He started his coaching career at Madrid in 2010 when Jose Mourinho requested he work closely with the team. He would attend training sessions and travel with the club as a special adviser.
In July 2011 he was appointed the new sporting director of Real Madrid. It was however in 2013 that Zidane made his first move into coaching when he was appointed assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid.
It was in June the following year that Zidane would be come the Coach of Real Madrid’s B team, Castilla. There was controversy with this appointment when the Miguel Galan from the Spanish National Coach Education Centre, reported Zidane for acting as head coach without the correct coaching badges, which resulted in a three match ban.
Zidane was officially appointed Head Coach of Castilla in May 2015 following him gaining his Uefa Pro Licence. He had Castilla sitting second in the Segunda B, but it has to be said that Real Madrid’s is such a big club that even their B team fields better players than the teams around them. A good example has been the incredibly talented Odegaard and even his own son Enzo.
I personally think this is a massive step for an inexperienced coach. He has had the opportunity to work with the likes of Mourinho and Ancelotti so I have no doubt he must have picked up so good management techniques. He also has a great winning mentality, which he gained as a player and will help him in management.
Now this is where I can see the problems coming for Zidane in the future. At the moment you have one of the best attacking Barcelona sides that I can remember and they have just had their transfer embargo lifted. You also have a very reliable Atheltico Madrid who have been challengers for a while now under Simeone and also a decent Valencia side that will be a force in future years with some of the good young players they have at present. In addition there is still a reported transfer ban possibility similar to that experienced by Barcelona, which would be tough for any manager to cope with and copied along with that the persistent rumours about Ronaldo moving on.
One thing is for certain though, I am sure with Zidane’s previous exploits on the pitch and his history with the club the El Clascio could be interesting when he line up against Luis Enrique
Ultimately Barcelona has been successful using players who played for the club as their head coach. Maybe Madrid are hoping that in Zidane they will have a long term manager who will be loved by the fans and bring extra glory to the Bernabeu.
Now I make all these points and of course I am still talking about Real Madrid who have a world class squad so I would expect him to be challenging, I just think it may be the wrong time for an inexperienced coach to take control with so much potentially happing in the next few years. Madrid has had their fair share of managers over the years and success is a must if you are to survive, but maybe one of the legendary Galaticos will have more time and go on to become an icon of the pitch as well as on it.