They say in football you should never go back, but Zinedine Zidane is living proof that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
The Frenchman made history during his first spell as Real Madrid manager, winning three consecutive Champions Leagues. He won the 2016-17 La Liga title, too.
Days after winning his third successive European Cup, Zidane stunned Madrid by handing in his resignation.
But just 284 days later, after Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari had both failed to convince Florentino Perez, Zidane returned.
It felt like a risky decision on the Frenchman’s part. How could he possibly equal what he’d achieved during his first spell?
But Zidane was confident enough in his own ability to turn the situation around at the Bernabeu, telling reporters on his return: “Look, we’ll change things. We have to change things for next year but now it’s not about that. What matters is that I am back and we have time to talk about what we have to do. But today that’s not the issue. There are 11 games left and what we want is to finish well. I’m here because the president called me. I’m here because I love this club.”
Just over a year later and Zidane has turned Real Madrid into champions of Spain once again.
Following his latest title triumph, @RMadrid_Stats on Twitter have posted a list of the 10 coaches who have won the most trophies since 2016 - the year Zidane entered management.
Let’s take a closer look…
Carlo Ancelotti: Three trophies
Ancelotti won the 2016-17 Bundesliga title, plus the DFL-Supercup in 2016 and 2017, with Bayern Munich.
Jose Mourinho: Three trophies
Does the Community Shield count as a trophy? It certainly does in Mourinho’s book.
The Portuguese tactician won the season curtain-raiser in 2016 followed by the EFL Cup and Europa League with Manchester United.
Niko Kovac: Four trophies
Kovac won the DFB-Pokal with Eintracht Frankfurt in 2018 before landing the Bayern Munich job.
He won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and DFL-Supercup at the Allianz Arena before leaving the German giants by mutual consent last November.
Luis Enrique: Four trophies
Luis Enrique enjoyed a hugely-successful three-year spell as Barcelona head coach and has won trophies since Zidane entered management: La Liga, two Copas del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup.
Jurgen Klopp: Four trophies
Arguably the best manager in the world right now, Klopp has transformed Liverpool in recent years.
The German coach has won four trophies with the Reds - the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup - and it wouldn’t be a shock if he adds a few more to Liverpool’s silverware cabinet over the coming seasons.
Thomas Tuchel: Five trophies
Tuchel won the DFB-Pokal with Borussia Dortmund in 2017 before moving onto Paris Saint-Germain a year later.
The 46-year-old has won two Ligue 1 titles and the same number of French Super Cups since his arrival at the Parc des Princes.
Unai Emery: Eight trophies
There’s a reason why Arsenal appointed Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger’s successor in 2018. The Spaniard’s CV speaks for itself.
He won a third consecutive Europa League with Sevilla in 2016 before adding seven trophies to his collection with Paris Saint-Germain between 2016-2018, including Ligue 1 and two French Cups.
Massimiliano Allegri: Eight trophies
Massimiliano Allegri was a trophy-winning machine at Juventus between 2014-2019.
The Italian tactician won four Serie A titles, three Coppas Italia and one Italian Super Cup after Zizou entered the managerial game.
Pep Guardiola: 10 trophies
In second place, it’s Pep Guardiola, who won the last of his three Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich in 2016, as well as the DFB-Pokal.
The revered Catalan coach has since won two Premier Leagues, three League Cups, the FA Cup and two Community Shields with Manchester City.
Zinedine Zidane: 11 trophies
But sitting on top of this illustrious list, it’s Zidane himself.
Since becoming a manager, the Frenchman has won two La Ligas, three Champions Leagues, two Spanish Super Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups. An absolutely phenomenal haul.
GIVEMESPORT's Rob Swan says...
For some reason, the 48-year-old hasn’t always received the recognition that his achievements so richly deserved in recent years. Perhaps it’s because he’s managing Real Madrid and has a star-studded squad at his disposal.
But the likes of Lopetegui, Solari and Rafael Benitez are all evidence that managing Los Blancos, where expectation levels are sky-high, is far from easy.
It’s time to acknowledge that Zidane, one of the greatest footballers we’ve ever seen, is a truly elite coach.
He’s right up there alongside the likes of Guardiola and Klopp at this moment in time.
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