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13 Mar 2019

Replacing Ronaldo And Task Zinedine Zidane Might Face As He Returns To Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane is back in charge at Real Madrid less than 10 months after stepping down as their boss.

Real announced their reunion with the Frenchman on Monday as he replaced the sacked Santiago Solari.

Zidane won three straight Champions League titles during his first spell in the Spanish capital, though it will require a monumental effort to achieve the same kind of dominance this time around.
Madrid haven't ended a season without a single trophy in almost a decade, though it's clear they require a major overhaul.

Here are the key issues for Zidane to address on his return.

- LIFTING AN UNMOTIVATED SQUAD -

Real crashed out of the Champions League in the last 16 with a 4-1 loss to Ajax last week, their fourth straight home defeat.

It makes for some contrast to when Zidane departed in May, five days on from guiding them to European Cup glory for the 13th time in their history.

The time between his tenures, first with Julen Lopetegui and then Solari at the helm, has seen Real looking a shadow of their former selves and in considerable need of a lift.

Zidane, simply on the basis of the CV he has as a player and manager at the club, very much appears the man to provide that.

- REPLACING CRISTIANO RONALDO -

A major difference between the Real Zidane left and that which he is re-entering is Cristiano Ronaldo no longer being at the club.

Los Blancos’ all-time top-scorer moved to Juventus in July and their subsequent fortunes have only served to emphasise his absence.

It has been claimed by former Real president Ramon Calderon that Zidane had wanted Ronaldo retained and Gareth Bale sold – whether that is true or not, he must find a way to be successful without the Portuguese.

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