Just days after Real Madrid became the first team to win their 3rd consecutive UEFA Champions League title, the man who led them there, manager Zinedine Zidane, has announced that he will be resigning as head coach of what may be one of the greatest teams to ever take the field. So now all we can ask is… why?
“This is the right moment for everyone, it might seem a bit strange, but it had to be done for the good of everyone, the players, the club, and myself”
Zinedine Zidane on his decision to step down as 🇪🇸@realmadriden coach
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) June 3, 2018
Zidane took over as boss in January of 2016 and has never looked back. When he first joined the club, there were a ton of doubts as he had never managed a senior professional team. But he quickly put a sock in the mouth of his doubters by winning the Champions league in his first season. He followed up the next season with another Champions league title, as well as a LaLiga title. In all, in just 2.5 seasons as Real Madrid manager, Zidane brought in 3 Champions League titles, 1 Spanish super cup, 1 League title, 2 Uefa super cups, and 2 club world cups. Not too shabby.
Why is he leaving?
The answer may not be so simple, and it also may not be something that us Americans can understand. Zidane clearly stated that if a team wants to continue winning over long periods of time (a dynasty as we like to call it) every few years you either need to change the manager, or change the players, which to me is silly. Does Saban need to leave Bama for that dynasty to live on? Does Belichick need to leave New England? In this case, if what Zidane says is true then he is the one that has to go. With the average age of his starting eleven at 29, and most of them on wages that most other clubs can’t afford to take on, I guess Zidane has got to go!
In his press conference he used the word “desgaste” which roughly translates to “wear and tear”. This is not the first time we have heard this be used, it was also said by Pep Guardiola who walked away from a Barcelona team that he had just won 14 trophies in 4 years with.
In the post match press conferences after the Champions League final, star players Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale both made comments that left their futures in the Spanish capital in a shadow of doubt, so lets be honest, if I were Zidane and both CR7 and Gareth Bale who scored 2 of 3 madrid goals in the final both starting to pack their bags, I would be skipping town as fast as I could.
What’s next for Real Madrid?
There are a few different ways the Galacticos can go from here. One being, stick some dynamite in the squad and blow it to pieces and rebuild. If they went with that approach they would likely bring in a new manager from within the club who can keep the culture of Real Madrid alive. Another path we may see them take is try and squeeze out one more title from this current squad and bring in a proven manager, although there aren’t many on the market.
With an aging squad and a hole to fill at the top, we could be in for a very interesting summer for the Spanish giants.