Zinedine Zidane’s legacy at Real Madrid isn’t limited to the nine trophies he added to the cabinets of the Santiago Bernabeu, as he has also left behind him an excellent situation for his successor, whoever that may be.
Here, we take a look at six gifts the Frenchman has laid down at the club.
A dressing room that feels like a family
At a club as large as Real Madrid, it’s important for there to be unity in the dressing room and Zidane has made sure that there is.
It was clear from the Champions League celebrations that there is a positive and family-like atmosphere in the squad, which is a major achievement on Zidane’s part.
As Sergio Ramos said before the final in Kiev, there are no egos there.
By leading Los Blancos to trophy after trophy, Zidane leaves behind him a squad that now knows how to win.
This winning feeling is hard to shake off, and the next coach should benefit from this winning mentality.
A squad with 16 starters
While Zidane may has been exaggerating slightly when he claimed that any of his 24 first-team squad members could play to the required level, it is true that there are 16 players in the squad who could be considered starters.
This is a luxury for whoever inherits this squad, as they’ll feel they can rotate and overcome injuries and suspensions.
There are a number of footballers who have developed significantly under Zidane, such as Casemiro, Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio and Keylor Navas.
These players are all better now than they were when Zidane took over and this improvement should last, with the next coach able to make the most of it.
Zidane has trained his squad to be able to play in a number of different formations and to play well in a number of different formations.
From a BBC-led 4-3-3 to a standard to 4-4-2 to a 4-3-1-2 with Isco as a No.10, this team can shape-shift like few others.
A Cristiano Ronaldo who is willing to rest
Assuming Cristiano Ronaldo does stay, Zidane’s heir will inherit a player who is much more willing to sit out matches than he was three years ago.
The benefits of this have been clear to see, with the No.7 finishing recent seasons well.