If Real Madrid fans were hoping that the side can start strongly in 2018 after getting slumped to a 3-0 hammering at home by Barcelona in their final La Liga fixture of 2017, it did not turn out to be so. The side led by manager Zinedine Zidane was brought back to the reality as the side took on Balaídos and were held to a 2-2 draw by Celta Vigo. But in spite of Madrid currently struggling at the 4th position in the La Liga table, trailing 16 points behind table-toppers Barcelona, Zidane was awarded the French football manager of the year by a French magazine. The 45-year old was recognised as he led the club to La Liga and Champions League double victory in the first half of the year.
Speaking to reporters, in an article published in the magazine that gave the award, the French manager said that he wishes to show the world that he can lead a team in tough circumstances as well. “I want to show that I can also be a good coach in tough circumstances,” he said. The former Real Madrid midfielder further expressed confidence that his side will find a way to get back.
“Today, yes, the danger is there, but I’m not going to change. I am aware that I have in front of me great players who listen to me. Playing football, I know how to do that. So things will sort themselves out in the end,” he said.
On being asked about the speculations of him being removed as the manager for the club, Zidane said that he is no longer “protected”. “Some people may think that everything is always easy for me, that I do everything from instinct, but that’s not true! Whether it is as a player or as a coach, I’ve always worked. I’m not protected by what I achieved as a player for this club. Zinedine Zidane is no longer a Real player. That Zidane does not exist any more. Now it is the coach Zinedine Zidane who must create a career,” he said.