To everyone’s surprise, Zinedine Zidane « Zizou » decided to return to Real Madrid. A little over nine months after leaving the capital with a third Champions League victory. Again, the timing seems ideal. What really matters now is not the present, but what happens next. And that’s why ZZ came back.
4 January 2016 – 11 March 2019: two dates that will remain in the Merengue’s history. If the first time will forever retain a taste of eternity, materialized by the silverware that ZZ has added to Real Madrid’s already well-stocked cabinet, the second emanates another beautiful smell, just as tempting. Because ZZ, who came to save the furniture three years ago, is back now to put out the fire that ravaged the White House’s season. And above all, rebuild.
At first glance, one may legitimately wonder why the former French international (108 caps and 31 goals) is plunging back so quickly after leaving with a third Champions League after a season that quickly made him realize that it would not be followed by a bright future. His men at the time, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, had gone fed up and no longer had the energy to fight the daily battles. The misfortunes of Lopetegui and Solari have more than likely confirmed how good his choice of leaving was.
With the little hindsight available, the timing doesn’t seem that surprising. He is even the best, in the current situation and dilapidated state of Real Madrid. As a reminder: the club led by Florentino Perez was humiliated in the Champions League last Tuesday by Ajax Amsterdam. A monumental slap (1-4) and a first failure at this early stage of the competition since 2010. Real Madrid were also dropped out of la Liga title race, where they made a good start only to finish in the shadow of Barcelona and Atletico. As for the King’s Cup, it is no longer relevant since Barça passed through them in the Santiago-Bernabeu (0-3).
In short, Zidane left when he had to, and came back when the time was right.
Arriving during the storm is generally not the time recommended and desired by technicians. While some handle the fire hose with skill, none of them like to be considered a firefighter. Zinedine Zidane was one the first time. But not this time. He is now a builder. The former Juventus Turin player is back for 2019/2020 and a Madrid summer that is already shaping up to be a hot one.
From March 11 until the opening of the summer mercato, the Frenchman will be the best possible ally of the Madrid reconquista. Because Zidane, whatever his results by the time the curtain of the 2018/2019 season drops, he will be on the bench of Real. And that his only and magnetic presence, as much as his three Champions Leagues gleaned during his first visit to Madrid, embodies the ultimate asset to convince potential summer recruits. Apart from Pep Guardiola, on the bench in Manchester City, no other coach has such an aura. Ask a player like Eden Hazard what he thinks of Zizou.
A swallow has never made spring but Zidane is already here to make the summer of Real Madrid.