Photo: Real Madrid News
Zinedine Zidane, a three-time World Player of the Year, is the new sporting director at Real Madrid and will have a major say in personnel decisions, club president Florentino Perez said.
The Blancos had earlier eliminated the sporting director post at the behest of coach Jose Mourinho, who wanted full control over the squad.
But with the Portuguese manager’s departure, management decided to revive the post, Perez told Cadena Ser radio.
Zidane, a former French international who played for Real Madrid from 2001-2006, is to coordinate the search for Mourinho’s successor, Perez said.
Perez is currently unopposed in his bid for another term as club president in the June 16 election.
“If there are no other candidates, I take office Tuesday (June 18) and from there we begin with the issue of the coach. Though people don’t believe it, we haven’t talked to anybody. What is certain is that this entire sporting project will be led by Zidane,” Perez said.
As part of the Real Madrid organization for the last two years, Zidane has been working toward his coaching license while overseeing the club’s youth academy.
“I don’t believe Zidane wants to be coach, but in these years he has been with Madrid he has become a coach and sporting manager. Of course I would like him to be coach of Real Madrid one day,” Perez said.
Mourinho’s replacement and Zidane “will analyze the reality of the team and its weaknesses,” the club president said. “We will try to make a qualitative leap.”
Despite a lineup that includes superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and standouts such as Xabi Alonso and Fabio Coentrao, Real Madrid finished second in La Liga, was eliminated from the Champions League in the semifinals and lost the Copa del Rey final to crosstown rival Atletico Madrid.