Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid Reunion 'Perfect,' Says Jose Mourinho

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 14, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27:  Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United applauds the crowd after the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Manchester United and BSC Young Boys at Old Trafford on November 27, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has praised Zinedine Zidane and called his return to the Real Madrid helm perfect for all parties after being linked with his own reunion at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Mourinho was linked with the position at Real but told El Chiringuito (h/t Marca) Zidane's move back to the club after 10 months away was an ideal match.

He said: "I think it's perfect with the fantastic things he's done in recent years. It's perfect for me, perfect for Madrid, perfect for him. It's a great opportunity to show how good he is, especially now with a new project. I think he's great."

Los Blancos became the first team to win three successive UEFA Champions League titles (2016-2018) when Zidane was in charge, as well as clinching La Liga and two FIFA Club World Cups during his first stint. 

Mourinho previously led Real between 2010 and 2013, winning one league title, the Copa del Rey and a Spanish Super Cup. 

However, the Portuguese left on slightly sour terms after three seasons at the Bernabeu, and journalist David Cartlidge told Love Sport Radio the players will have had a significant impact on the decision:

Love Sport Radio @lovesportradio

🗣️ "IT'S WHY CONTE DIDN'T GET THE JOB" Spanish football expert Dave Cartlidge (@davidjaca) thinks player power is the reason why Mourinho would never have got the job at Real Madrid over Zidane. 📻 Tune in - DAB 📲 Listen - https://t.co/XWhRQh9myF https://t.co/M9pekAuCWm

Santiago Solari was relieved of his duties following a run of four defeats in his final six matches at the helm, including back-to-back Clasico losses against rivals Barcelona.

Real were also knocked out of the Champions League's last 16 following a 4-1 humiliation at home to Ajax, which brought an abrupt end to their European defence and last realistic chance at silverware this term.

Many questioned why Real legend Zidane took his leave of the Bernabeu in May 2018. Sportswriter Andrew Gaffney hailed him as the right choice following the stints of Julen Lopetegui—who was sacked in October—and Solari:

Andrew Gaffney @GaffneyVLC

@n1ckhay Yeah, some said Klopp/Poch were favourites and then the Mourinho one popped up. Zidane the safer, smarter option but no one really felt that was on the table. https://t.co/xaxUvTPelq

It's also been suggested Zidane's French connection could help Real in their pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain maestro Kylian Mbappe down the line.

His return could adversely affect the futures of other players in Madrid, however. Spanish football expert Guillem Balague discussed Gareth Bale's previous friction with Zidane during a recent appearance on Eleven Sports:

Eleven Sports @ElevenSports_UK

| 🤔 | What does Zidane's return to Real Madrid mean for Gareth Bale? @GuillemBalague weighs up the options... 🗣 #LaLiga https://t.co/78UexwKnB9

The pressure is now on Zidane to ensure that even without Cristiano Ronaldo, he can steer this Real Madrid team back to success in his second stint at the Bernabeu.