Madrid, MINA – Zinedine Yazid Zidane has made a surprise return to coach Real Madrid. The Real Madrid Board of Directors decided to terminate Santiago Solari’s contract as the first team coach and replace him with Zidane.
The decision was approved at a meeting held on Monday 11 March. Zidane will immediately train for the rest of the season as well as the next three seasons, until June 30, 2022.
The 46 years old Frenchman led Real to three consecutive Champions League trophies during his first spell in charge at the Bernabeu, but then stepped down in May 2018.
Zinedine Zidane addressed the press gathered inside the media room at the Santiago Bernabéu after having been unveiled as head coach of Real Madrid.
“I’m feeling good and I’m happy to be back. I’m delighted to be back working at this great club and with this squad of players. When the president called me, the first thing that I thought about was coming back and here I am. This is an important day and I’m here because I really love this club,” he said.
Zidane added, it’s a big challenge and he is not thinking about the past because if he had done, he wouldn’t have come back.
“It’s about more than returning to Real Madrid. I’m really raring to head up this second project and serve the president, the club and the fans. I’m really raring to return and nobody can take my excitement to coach this team and ensure that they perform better away from me. I’m back in charge of the project with renewed energy after nine months out. I’m ready to once again experience what it means to coach Real Madrid and be at this great club, which I really love,” he added.
Quoting the official Real Madrid page, the Board of Directors thanked Solari for his work, commitment and loyalty to the club. Moreover, during this time he had considered the soccer club from the Spanish capital as his home.
Zidane replaces former teammate Santiago Solari, who was promoted to the role of Real coach after Julen Lopetegui was dismissed following a poor run of form in October.
“Real Madrid appreciates the work done by Santiago Solari and the commitment and loyalty he has always shown to this house,” said a Real Madrid statement on Monday.
Zidane was already a Real legend thanks to an illustrious five-year-period as a player at the club between 2001 and 2006.
He took over as Real Madrid coach in January 2016 and made a near immediate impact, winning the Champions League later that season.
Two more European titles followed before he abruptly left in May 2018, a matter of days after securing the hat-trick of Champions League titles as Real defeated Liverpool in Kiev. (T/Ais/P2)
Mi’raj News Agecy (MINA)