MADRID: Real Madrid picked one of its most successful figures to try to end one of its worst crises.
Zinedine Zidane is returning to coach Madrid, the club he led to three straight Champions League titles before quitting while on top nine months ago.
Madrid announced Monday that Zidane accepted an offer to replace Santiago Solari and signed a contract until June 2022 to try to get the club back on track after a disastrous season.
The coaching change came less than a week after two losses to Barcelona and another to Ajax – results eliminated the club from the Champions League and the Copa del Rey and virtually ended its hopes of winning the Spanish league.
“I’m very happy to be back home. I’ve recharged my batteries and now I’m ready again for the experience of being Real Madrid’s coach. I’m motivated to be coaching again,” Zidane said. “What I want to do now is return to work and put the club back where it belongs.”
Spanish television channel La Sexta was the first to report Zidane’s return. The announcement came after the board of directors met Monday in Madrid.
“You have an incredible history with the club, both as a player and as a coach,” Madrid president Florentino Perez told Zidane. “We are proud to have you with us again. You represent the grandiosity of this club. Thank you for your loyalty.”