There will always be those who continue to dive in search of someone but Zinedine Zidane. But one of the main roles of a manager is to bring out the best in his players.
And that’s exactly what happened against Liverpool, against one of the games most prestigious coaches in Jurgen Klopp all without Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Dani Carvajal.
Zidane went for his usual 4-3-3 despite the injuries and he found Liverpool’s weak point – their defence. Toni Kroos and Thibaut Courtois‘ long balls helped undo the German’s coaching plans, while Vinicius Junior was tasked with getting on the end of those balls. And it worked.
But since all of this is not going to change the opinion of the anti-Zidane camp, which has certainly been seen by presidential hopeful Enrique Riquelme, let’s look at the data.
The 3-1 victory over Liverpool was Zidane’s 50th Champions League match as a coach – and his figures are the best in the history of the competition, with 31 wins, 10 draws and nine losses. Pep Guardiola managed 30 wins in his first 50, whilst Vicente del Bosque achieved 29 with Real Madrid, and Diego Simeone 28 with Atletico.
Zidane’s Real Madrid are well and truly alive in both the Champions League and LaLiga Santander. It remains to be seen whether he can pull off such a feat, but right now he has options not every coach can say. Not Klopp, not Ronald Koeman nor Simeone. His side are also 12 games unbeaten, with ten wins and two draws.
The Frenchman’s coaching career so far has been nothing short of fantastic. He won three Champions Leagues in a row and two league titles – a record which leaves him competing with Guardiola for the most successful coach in history.