The French introvert who ‘talked to the ball’:
He has been the greatest player of his generation. He spoke to the ball and maneuvered it in a way which became ambiguous to the ‘footballing world’. His antics in the 1998 FIFA world cup earned him a Ballon d’Or. This was just the beginning as he moved on to win FIFA’s footballer of the year ‘4 times’ and won the Champions League with Real Madrid. He wasn’t a free scorer like Ronaldo or Messi but it was the way he controlled the tempo of the game that left the footballing world in awe.
The step from ‘playing’ to ‘managing’:
Zidane was an excellent player but that doesn’t mean that he will be a world class manager and being appointed mid season means that he will be under immense pressure to improve Real Madrid. The boards’ and supporters’ admiration will quickly turn into hatred if upcoming results don’t go their way. Whether he becomes ‘Real Madrid’s answer to Guardiola” or not depends on how he manages the egos in his dressing room and the influx of silverware as well.
Zidane may feel the pressure of managing his ‘dream club’ but in our opinion he has enough experience and tactical nous to be in charge. He has followed Guardiola’s management in Germany during his learning period and was the assistant coach of Carlo Ancelotti for two years including the year in which Real Madrid won the Champions League for the 10th time.
Zidane started management with Real Madrid reserves and for the first six games they did not win. Slowly and gradually he grew as a manager and with a change in formation his team managed ’37 points out of 48 available’. This was the turning point in his career as he identified the weaknesses and strengths of his players and improved the team as a whole. Furthermore, this run of games created the self belief for Zidane to move forward.
He might be an introvert to many viewers and colleagues but his scouting and management in the transfer market spoke volumes about his technical mindset. He paved the way for Raphael Varane and played Manchester United’s Guillermo Varela his reserves. Both players were excellent in their positions and have shown the world that Zidane knows what he is doing when he goes to buy players.
We can perceive many things with the appointment of ‘Zizou’ but his true credentials are yet to be seen. Its safe to say that we can kick back and enjoy the show as our generation’s greatest player takes on a new challenge in his life. Who knows? Maybe he will win the La Liga and Champions League with his current crop of players.