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Report: Zinedine Zidane 'Handed Keys to Bernabeu' Following Real Madrid Return

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2019

Newly appointed Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, and Real Madrid President Florentino Perez  attend a press conference in Madrid, Monday March 11, 2019. Real Madrid picked one of its most successful coaches to try to end one of its worst crises. Zidane is returning to coach Real Madrid, the club he led to three straight Champions League titles. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

Real Madrid have reportedly promised Zinedine Zidane a significant amount of control at the club in his second spell in charge, which may include "three superstar signings" this summer. 

Following a torrid campaign, it was confirmed Zidane had rejoined the club on Monday, replacing former manager Santiago Solari. The appointment sees the Frenchman return to the Santiago Bernabeu less than a year on from walking away from the job.

According to Agustin Martin of AS, in order to convince Zidane to come back, club president Florentino Perez has had to hand plenty of power to the former midfielder, as well as a lucrative salary. It's said he has been "handed the keys to the Bernabeu."

"It has cost [Perez] considerably more than the compensation packages handed to Zidane's predecessors Julen Lopetegui and Solari: The Frenchman has been handed complete control over all sporting decisions and promised as much backing in the transfer market as he feels is necessary to make Madrid a force again," said Martin.

It's noted Zidane has been promised three major signings, with Madrid potentially set for a similar summer to 2009, when they landed Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Kaka.

The wage being earned by the new Madrid boss is also said to be in the same region as the likes of Diego Simeone and Pep Guardiola, who are among the highest-paid coaches in the world. 

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Per Sid Lowe of the Guardian, the reaction to Zidane's return to the Santiago Bernabeu has been fascinating:

Sid Lowe @sidlowe

Who knows how it will work long term but the immediate impact of Zidane signing is stunning.

The 46-year-old heads back to Madrid with a sparkling reputation, as he steered Los Blancos to three UEFA Champions League successes during his two-and-a-half years in charge of the club:

B/R Football @brfootball

He’s back. https://t.co/qoMQPdhkZq

B/R Football @brfootball

2018/19 has been a wild one for Real Madrid 🤯 https://t.co/1XaS7Gu6Mv

Following Zidane's decision to leave last year, Los Blancos have been on a downward curve.

Not only did they fail to sufficiently replace Ronaldo following his sale to Juventus, they appointed Julen Lopetegui, the then-Spain manager, ahead of the FIFA World Cup in farcical circumstances.

After a challenging start to his tenure, which included a 5-1 loss to Barcelona, Lopetegui was axed and replaced by Solari. While the team improved, three losses at home in three different competitions—twice to Barcelona and once to Ajax—effectively ended Madrid's season.

Drastic action has been taken as a result, with Zidane once again entrusted with pushing the team back to the summit of European and Spanish football. The coach said he was desperate to bring success back to the Spanish capital:

Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 @realmadriden

💬 Zidane: "I'm very happy to be home. I want to put this club back where it belongs." #RealMadrid | #HalaMadrid https://t.co/8PJ035sstD

While there will be little to play for between now and the end of the campaign, Zidane will have a chance to assess his squad ahead of what promises to be a busy summer for Madrid.

In Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos it appears Zidane has a core of experienced players he can still rely on. However, it feels important the manager and club collectively start thinking about the long term at the Bernabeu.

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