When the club that won ‘club of the century’ and is rightfully called the ‘Kings of Europe’ claim they will miss your presence in the dressing room then by all means you were a legend. Zinedine Zidane mesmerized the world in his playing days and no one who has followed the beautiful game long enough would dare omit his name from the central midfield of their dream team. During his playing days he had won everything possible which include the highest international honor for a team – the World Cup as well as the highest club honor– The UEFA Champions League. He is also quite famous on the largest stage as his volley in the UEFA finals is still widely considered as the best goal in the finals and the Italians knew very well that the only way to beat Zidane’s French side that swept away a legendary Brazil team in the Semis was to ensure the man himself does not stay in the pitch. Zidane who always portrayed a calm and elegant figure in the pitch had to bow out with a moment of aggression on the man that confessed his role that night at the World Cup finals was to sledge Zidane for the 90 minutes to throw him off the game. 1 moment in a career of grandeur will never define the 1998 Balon D’Or winner.
There are players like Maradonna who have been phenomenal in their playing career but failed as a manager, then there are those who excelled at being a manager but wasn’t famous in their playing days but Zidane was a winner throughout. After gaining all this accolades as a player, he tried his hand at coaching by being the assistant coach to Carlos Ancelotti at Real Madrid during the year they lifted the La Decima. He spent the next year at the Castilla only to be recalled to take over the main team after an abysmal season with Rafa Bebitez. In his first spell itself he led Real to their 11th European glory and ensured to win the next 2 years as well. In fact Zidane managed to collect 9 out of the 13 trophies that were available to him to collect during that spell. Real also broke the record for the longest unbeaten streak by a club and achieved a feat that could well not be repeated anytime soon by winning the Champions League 3 times in a row in the new format.
It needs to be said that the Real Madrid side that had 11 brilliant individuals were brought together as a team only under Zidane. There might exist no one else that the players would respect and listen to more than the legendary Zinedine Zidane. When Zidane tells the 100 million Bale that he won’t be playing the next match, then there is no backlash. When Zidane says that the 5 time Balon’D’or who is poised to win the Pichichi every year that he needs to rest, then the Portuguese talisman rests. Zidane never needed a microphone to get his words across the players because when Zidane talks everyone listens.
Real has been the envy of many if not all the European teams following their immense success under Zidane’s reign and that has come to an end. The only silver lining for Madridistas all across the globe is that ZIdane said that this is not a goodbye but ‘see you later’. Whoever it is that now steps in at the helm of Madrid has big shoes to fill and the only possible way someone can outdo Zidane would be conquer the one thing that the Los Blancos failed to this date – the majestic Treble. The names of Wenger, Pochettino and Guti have come up as the successor to Zidane but at the moment all the Real fans are mourning over the only manager that managed to leave in his own terms under President Perez’s spell.
But for now the Los Vikingos supporters wish the greatest to be present at the Bernabeau the very best and Gracias Zizou.