Already satisfied with his success on the European stage, Zinedine Zidane now has his second LaLiga Santander title. Some find it surprising that this is the title that makes him happiest, but not his fellow professionals – those who properly appreciate the difficulty of such a long-distance run. They know that you can’t win a league title just by luck or by VAR – there are no excuses nor shortcuts. Where you finish is of your own doing, good or bad.
There have been plenty of good things about Zidane this season. So many that it can be remembered as Zidane‘s league title – a rarity in a club whose traditional identity belongs more with its players than its coaches. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that it’s the title that deserves the most credit out of Zidane‘s 11 as Real Madrid boss and one that gives him a record of a trophy every 19 games. Astonishing.
Let’s go over it: he’s won this league title without Cristiano Ronaldo, the biggest match-winner the club has ever had. He’s won it having barely had his star player, Eden Hazard, available after so many injuries. He’s won it without his promising goalscorer, Luka Jovic, a person more worried about the events section than the sports section. He’s won it without Marco Asensio, who has barely been available to him. He’s won it with just one holding midfielder in his squad. He’s won it with the old guard, who many had written off beforehand. He’s won it by convincing some that, without regular goalscorers, they had to suffer, to learn to play with more seriousness than joy, with more emphasis on defence than in attack. Zidane, to put it briefly, has won, which is what he came back to do.