After the last night of referee Milorad Mažić ‘s whistle, the festivities could have gone on. Modern football history does not remember this – the three consecutive titles of the best team in Europe are a feat that no matter how much money is poured into clubs, it cannot be so easily surpassed.
Among the euphoric players of Real Madrid suddenly appeared the figure of Zinédine Zidane. A man who, in his coaching career, led a few 250 senior games he entered among the best of all time, but as he walked among his pulengs last night on his face, he saw a shy smile, like the one that a man has when you meet an aunt. Who starts to brag about you? Always the same, Zidane is probably the most charismatic introvert in football history.
When in the winter 2016, things between the Kings went downhill more than the carts on the steep slope Rafael Benítez became an ex in the moment. Although undoubtedly an excellent trainer, Benítez simply never possessed the charisma needed for such a job; His character was diametrically opposed to the one needed to establish authority over such a dressing room. Although he had the best intentions, the methods by which he tried to control the players were wrong.
The ‘ Ten ‘, as ironically called the players in Madrid due to the fact that he had never had a notable toy career, was more focused on how to influence the performance of the players themselves. Luka Modrić, for example, assured that he must leave those characteristic additions to the outside. With Benítes, it was all very complicated, and to spice it up with a serious implication that it was just him to convince these stars that the imperfect is straight is a career suicide.
As a fire-fighting solution came with Zidane, a man whom Florentino Pérez called “Rent-A-skier” in the club’s history. Although his previous coaching adventure did not promise — he failed to usher Reality’s second team into the second-Division society — Zidane answered the question of what makes it a success for him at the first press conference.
“We will conquer all,” he said.
Did Zidane’s triumph get into the football concept of ‘ post-trainer ‘?
And here he is. In just under two and a half years of his coaching career, Zidane achieved it: nine trophies, three a season. Besides being the first trainer in modern history to win the title of European Champion three times in a row, Zidane became the first trainer in the history of such a trophy club to have won four trophies in one season and held a number of individual records — such as the longest string without Defeat in the history of Spanish football and the one with 16 consecutive victories, which in turn deals with Pep Guardiola. Even 59 years ago the Real waited that in the same season wins both the Spanish and the European title, and Zidane managed it in its first full season on the bench.
In 29 months, he surpassed the effects of Arrigo Sacchi, coming side by side with Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti, which was 2014 As a sidekick, won the Champions League. In 29 months there are more European trophies than José Mourinho, Ottmar Heathzfeld, Jupp Heynckes, Marcelo Lippi, Rinus Michel and Johan Cruyff.
That Zinedine Zidane still on that Pressline defined the success of the title is not accidental, because it continues to follow the image of the happy hand coach, who himself admits to being followed by some of his own lucky stars. But according to that English proverb: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
What do you say when someone cheats you nine times in two and a half years? Maybe it’s not a hoax after all.
This season Real on the road to the finals went to Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern. If we aside from a potential collision with Barcelona, it could hardly have been a more demanding route, and this was also manifested through the fact that the team on several occasions was acting like a boxer who was fit to the ropes, ready to after a series of consecutive blows finally He also receives the one who will send him to the knockout, to the joy of many who await this most for fear that one day he will have to explain how such a fighter has become the best of all time.
However, to briefly hold on to the boxing references, Real every time with the ropes pulled out that one blow that would surprise and knock out the opponent. Just like Lennox Lewis, also for many of the ‘ unloved ‘ champions, the Madriders let the opponent get tired and at the risk of knockout, only to at a crucial point draw a right hook and turn all to their advantage in a heartbeat.
And that is precisely the conscious strategy of a man who is regularly accused of being missing.
Jürgen Klopp said on the eve of the finals how ridiculous it is to say that Zidane “has no idea about tactics”, concluding with the question what it would be saying about football if two coaches participated in the Champions League final, which “had nothing to do with tactics”, alluding to the roll call that was Sometimes he gets. And it was precisely his rhetorical question that gave a good direction to the conversation about the Zidane: it is not, therefore, the question of whether Zidane is a ‘ random ‘ trainer, but has his triumph been introduced into the football concept of ‘ post-trainers ‘?
True, the construction sounds a little scary, but she offered herself. Although virtually deprived of coaching experience, with an aura of a great player that does not seem to be a capacity for a great expert at the same time, Zidane has come to the bench with the best group of football individuals. Moreover, Pérez’s ethos win and exclusively wins; Ever since he saw the first galácticose as a child, the current real president has directed all the resources to make his club champion.
Loved or not, it’s less important.
During his hunches at the club, different profiles of the same great coaching names were exchanged on the bench. There were also a few minutes of tactics, ready to create a dynasty by creating a system. There were those like Beníthezes, who went so far away that these ‘ perfect ‘ individuals were trying to convince themselves that they weren’t really. And in this resistance to imperfections, the first idea of being the ideal coach for Real Madrid is the one who can convince that pack that it really is the best, regardless of the actual state of things. Some — like Ancelotti, and Mourinho — came close, only to blow everything at the end by leading their own battles: from those against your ego to the most common of Pérez.
But there was still the issue of the coaching stamp and its handling. Zidane sat on the bench almost as a coach tabula Rasa, but also as a ten, without quotes and ironic connotations. Thierry Henry once said to him that in France everyone knew that God exists, because they knew he was playing in the team. Zidane’s charisma transcended the conventional concepts of the image of the leader and morphed into divine status materialized through a phenomenon similar to that of a tame Clint Eastwood. Zidane talks a little, but calculated, and that’s what made the difference in Real.
The trainer is expected to complicate, to seek new solutions day after day, from moment to moment, because this ability is often the one that makes the difference. Zidane is aware that this kind of cadre thinks and works because he himself is the one who sits on the other side. The basis of everything in the Frenchman and his expert staff is that the elite footballers must all be summarized in a maximum of two clear concepts: you raise that level, you bury them with micromanagement and all the video analysis, and you’ll lose them easily.
Of course, if everything was that simple, all the great footballers and field leaders would also be great coaches. But this is why this incredible triumph has caused the idea to fill the “something between”, the deleted space between the incomparable Charismatics and the motivators and the ingenious tactical minds.
Zidane does not feel these moments on the ground through a clear system he feels them through the reactions of the players by having all subordinated to them.
In the first semifinal game against Bayern, he started with Lucas Vázquez and Isco, who at halftime replaced Marco Asensio and thus gave the impulse that ultimately led to the reversal, masonry showed that the lack of system game compensates almost with a perfect knowledge of the capacity of your staff. In the long run this approach is problematic, which shows the season in the examples, but when one detail, one cross can solve the question of the best team in Europe, that line is key.
And just as many can’t believe that one day about this Real Madrid will have to speak as an imperfect champion, it will be difficult for them to explain this specific position of Zinédine Zidane in the coaching pantheon. Not even a third consecutive European triumph can repel the thought that this unique approach cannot be a guarantee of success anywhere outside this environment, in which victory is the only benchmark for building a dynasty.
Former French coach Raymond Domenech described Zidane as a myth.
“He is a myth that is capable of causing various emotions in people,” he said. “Not only the positive ones,” he added, intending to remedy the notion of excessive romanticizing that people tend to do when it comes to such an idol. Zidane created just such a myth in real, the only team in the world that could have spawned such a narrative.