Analysis: Should Real Madrid welcome back Zinedine Zidane for a third spell as manager?

It feels almost inevitable that Carlo Ancelotti will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season. The Italian’s current contract expires next summer, and he has been hounded by the Brazilian Football Federation over the course of 2023 with a view to taking over as Brazil head coach.

If Ancelotti does go, Florentino Perez will have a huge job on his hands to find a replacement. It is expected that he will go with a familiar face, with Xabi Alonso reportedly leading the race, although Raul Gonzalez and Alvaro Arbeloa are also possible candidates. In Alonso’s case, he can be brought in from Bayer Leverkusen with relative ease.

However, there is another name that Real Madrid could consider, and it is something that has already managed the first team on two separate occasions. According to El Chiringuito, President Perez is in “constant contact” with Zinedine Zidane, who is currently without a club.

Zidane has been unemployed since leaving Real Madrid for the second time at the end of the 2020-21 season. He had been hoping to take over as head coach of the French national team after the 2022 World Cup, but the FFF surprisingly opted to renew Didier Deschamps’ contract.

Zidane has not been short of options since becoming unemployed, but he has been picky and decided not to accept an offer until the right one came along. You’d imagine that if Real Madrid came calling, he would accept a third spell in charge.

However, should Real Madrid look to bring him back? Well, it’s easy to look at the success he had in his first spell in charge and say yes. Between 2016 and 2018, Zidane led Los Blancos to nine major honours, including three Champions Leagues, two FIFA Club World Cups and one La Liga title.

However, his second spell in charge was far worse. Real Madrid won La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup in Zidane’s first season, but went trophyless in his second, leading to his departure in 2021.

Zidane came into a fair bit of criticism during his second spell too, with gripes over his poor use of certain players, one being Vinicius Junior, who has thrived since Carlo Ancelotti returned to the club as the Frenchman’s successor.

Zidane probably wouldn’t be a bad appointment for Real Madrid, but someone like Alonso would be much better. It’s not like the club is struggling for cash too, so they are afford to go for the better, more expensive option over someone like Zidane.

It remains to be seen how the managerial situation plays out at Real Madrid over the next few months. Zidane could make a shock return if Ancelotti goes, but whether he would be the right option is certainly up for debate.

Image via FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Tags Florentino Perez Real Madrid Zinedine Zidane

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