How good really is Zidane the manager? Why the Real Madrid boss just keeps on winning

Zinedine Zidane

There is an expression in the Spanish sports press, and particularly in the Catalan newspapers, that aims to explain the secret of Zinedine Zidane. That’s no small ambition: if there really is a secret, it’s well hidden. On Saturday night, the Frenchman could win his third Champions League in two-and-a-half years as a coach at the top level. Yet after all these titles and all these wins, it’s still pertinent to ask: how has he done it?

Zidane doesn't fit into any conventional managerial bracket. He’s no visionary like Pep Guardiola, no cynic like Jose Mourinho, no disciplinarian like Sir Alex Ferguson. Quite often, his team don't even play well. Yet in Europe, they keep winning. And so with no particular competence to praise, enter the theory that explains it all: La flor de Zidane. Basically: Zidane is just lucky.

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