Zinedine Zidane’s Comments Foreshadowed Real Madrid’s Champions League Exit This Season
Zinedine Zidane foresaw Real Madrid's difficulty to retain the Champions League crown after comments that he made following his departure from the club.
The 46-year-old Frenchman became the first -- and only -- manager to win three consecutive Champions League titles, but then he shocked the footballing world when he left Los Blancos last summer.
However, Zizou was well aware of the difficulties that Madrid would face in Europe's elite competition this season.
"It would have been difficult for me to win again next year," he said (via ESPN). "There have been good moments, but also difficult times.
"I do not forget that. And at this club, you must know this: I do not want to start a season and have a bad time.
"I want to end with Real Madrid when everything is going well. I did it as a player, and now again as a coach. This [is] the right moment to end things well."
Ajax overturned a first-leg 2-1 deficit in the second leg as they thrashed Madrid 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Dušan Tadić put on a masterclass performance that earned him a perfect 10/10 rating from French newspaper L'Équipe, becoming only the ninth player in history to achieve such a feat.
Dutch legend Ruud Gullit said that Zidane left at the right time, mainly for how Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Juventus last summer.
"Zidane was clever enough to get out of there on time when they lost Ronaldo," he said on beIN Sports. "That's the whole point. And whoever comes after that has a difficult task.
"You have no Ronaldo. That's 50 goals you don't have."
The former AC Milan star also touched on Madrid's exit from the Champions League, saying that he wasn't surprised that Santiago Solari's men were knocked out of the competition.
"It was not a surprise," he said, before adding: "Because seeing Madrid lately, seeing the first match they [Ajax] played at home -- and they didn't deserve to lose -- I saw opportunities, especially in Madrid.
"Then you see the game Barcelona at Madrid, played [Real] off the park as well. You see the midfield and you think to yourself, 'Oh my God. That is exactly the team they want to face!'
"And the worst part is this has been the easiest game of the season. That is even worse. Against Madrid! Not even in their home competition do they have easy games like this."
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Featured Image Credit: PA