Zidane’s Real Madrid return was a masterstroke but he holds all the aces | Sid Lowe

The Frenchman’s return has ended the whiff of crisis in an instant, yet he must have had assurances to take the job again and now wields significant power at the Bernabéu

Pfff, and the crisis was gone. Zinedine Zidane walked into the room at the Santiago Bernabéu a little after eight o’clock and suddenly all was well with the world. It is not of course – Real Madrid’s season is over three months early, there are significant structural problems, and even the president, Florentino Pérez, called this an “especially difficult moment” – but that is how it felt. Whatever happens next, as an act of crisis management this was a masterstroke, the perfect move.

Zidane walked back in 284 days after walking out. Sequels were never any good, they say, but in the warmth of his return no one doubted this was the right decision – even if they daren’t believe this will be as good as the first time, when Madrid won three consecutive Champions Leagues.

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