Real Madrid reappoint Zinedine Zidane to replace Santiago Solari
The Frenchman replaces Santiago Solari, who was sacked after less than five months in charge.
Zinedine Zidane said he is “very happy to be home” after returning as Real Madrid manager just 10 months after leaving the Spanish giants.
Despite returning less than a year after he left the club, Zidane faces a rebuilding job at Real Madrid after their Champions League dynasty came to a remarkable, humiliating end last week.
The club has not adequately replaced Cristiano Ronaldo, who left for Juventus in the summer, with Karim Benzema the only Real player to reach double figures in La Liga (13). He has scored 22 goals in all competitions, with Gareth Bale on 13 and Sergio Ramos on 11.
Former Real midfielder Zidane, 46, who left in May after leading the club to a third straight Champions League trophy, has agreed to take over until 2022.
Real are currently third in La Liga, 12 points behind leaders Barcelona.
“The best manager in the world has rejoined the club,” Real president Florentino Perez said.
“Our destinies are once again united.”
Solari’s last match as manager was a 4-1 win over Real Valladolid on Sunday – which followed a shock Champions League exit to Ajax.
That 4-1 home defeat and 5-3 aggregate loss to the Dutch side was the final straw for Perez.
The Champions League elimination followed two consecutive losses to Barcelona in El Clasico – a 1-0 reverse in La Liga and a 4-1 aggregate defeating the Copa del Rey.
Zidane stepped down following the Champions League final victory over Liverpool, and Julen Lopetegui was hired as his successor just before the World Cup where he had been due to lead Spain, who promptly sacked him.
Four and a half months later it was Real’s turn to fire him.
Reserve-team boss Solari came in as caretaker before being given a contractto 2021 on 13 November.
“Real Madrid thanks Santiago Solari for his work done and the commitment and loyalty he has shown to what is his home,” the club said.
It added the former player had been offered another role with the club.
Zidane was officially unveiled in a ceremony on Monday and said: “I want to put this club back where it belongs.
“It has been difficult from the outside looking in.
“I have been living here in Madrid, doing my things. But I have recharged my batteries. I’m ready to coach this great club again.”