Zidane dribbles Mourinho 4

Zinedine Zidane is no longer around at Real Madrid’s first team facilities in Valdebebas. He now spends his time in the buildings and fields of the youth academy. Although the two areas are only separated by a few metres, the distance to José Mourinho is far greater. His appointment as the first team’s director of football had not yet reached a year.

Mourinho and Zidane: the divorce

Mourinho and Zidane: the divorce

Mourinho hoped to again create the type of figurehead incarnated by Luis Figo at Inter Milan. Another member of the family that the Portuguese manager likes to build around his teams.

“I like that he’s working with us”, the coach welcomed. “We’ll see what my job will be”, Zidane replied. There lies the key issue. That which one hoped for and the other wanted.

For example, Mourinho was hoping that Zidane would side with him regarding his complaints about refereeing. However, the legendary Madrid number ‘5’ did not do that as a player and neither was he going to do it as an assistant.

His soft spot for Benzema was not fully understood by the group as there were other teammates who also needed support. Benzema is now missing his advisor.

In his new task, Zidane is devoting himself to working with the youth academy. He will normally be found in the Valdebebas grandstands. Bit by bit he is becoming involved with the lower teams. For now, he watches the training sessions merely as an observer but it will not be long before he plays a more active part.

He is also doing his coaching course in Limoges – he was there on Monday as it is an on-site course – and, he will soon start as coach at Clairefontaine (French football Academy) now that he has been bitten by the bug. And far away from Mou.