It was all about the double ZZ today as Zizou helmed his first session as the boss. It coincided with the team’s annual open training so he got a lot of love from the fans and the squad.
The fans got some love from the players as well.
Before training, Zizou greeted each of his players individually and introduced them to his technical staff.
You can bet your bippy that there’s a fair amount of internal fanboy squeeing going on there. I mean, it’s freaking Zidane. Ask mygypsyspirit how she reacted during her Zizou experience. Now imagine you’re a player who is going to get to work with him every single stinking day. Cue squeegasm x 23.
His Bald Hotness held his first presser as well rocking a simple classic suit.
“I’m ready for the challenge, I’m motivated and excited”, added the new Whites’ manager.
Zinedine Zidane gave his first press conference as manager of Real Madrid. The coach was accompanied by Emilio Butragueño, director of institutional relations, who welcomed him saying: “You are a legend at our club and someone who is loved. During five seasons you delighted us with your game and today you take on your role directing from the bench. You know the club very well and we are convinced you will have a lot of success”.
The French manager later responded to questions from the media in the press room at the Santiago Bernabéu: “I have a good feeling. I’m ready for the challenge, I’m motivated and excited. It’s going to be a difficult challenge for me but I’m up for it. I’m looking forward to taking this opportunity with the best team in the world. I only want to win trophies with this team”.
The European Cup
“Winning it is fundamental for this club. We’re in the round of 16 and it’s always been the objective to win the Champions League, and it always will be. When you put this shirt on everything is possible, any objective can be real”.
“I want to bring the exciting game that this club has always had. The important thing is to play football and my job will be based on playing from the back, progressing in to the opposition half quickly and having possession of the ball. I would be happy to win everything. Our objective is to win, we’ve got two trophies that we can win and we’re going to try until the end of the year”.
Message for the fans
“I’ll say to them the same as to the players: excitement. We’re going to try to excite the fans like always. The fans here know their football and we’re going to try to do everything to make them happy and proud of us”.
“My first words have been important for all the players because we’ve trained in front of the fans. I said to them that I’m very happy to be beside them, that a new adventure is starting and that we are going to try to do everything possible to complete the objectives”.
“It’s fair. I’m going to try to entertain and in every game we will go out to win playing well, working hard and giving our all, they are the values of madridismo. I’m going to try and do it like that, playing well. I made the decision yesterday. It happened quickly, they offered it to me and I accepted”.
“You have to be close to the players and have a good relationship with all of them. I’m responsible for the team and I want everything to go well. The way the players are handled will be different to with the Castilla players because they are experienced players and Real Madrid players. The message for them will be the same, it will be based around the hard work and intensity which we will have in every game and the excitement that will go in to every training session”.
“It’s definitely a difficult challenge. I’m sure of the work that I’m going to do day to day with my players. I don’t speak a lot for the press, but the day to day work is fundamental and important. I’m looking forward to transmitting one thing to the players: winning”.
“I have seen a team that is focused, lively and hardworking.”
“Football has always been important here. The most important thing is to see nice football and I’m going to go down that line: Nice football and balance. We’re going to work in order to do as well as possible on the pitch”.
His image in the dressing room
“It’s important because I’m part of this club as a player. This is a new phase and he most important thing is to do things well with my players and win games. The only thing important to me is winning games.
Changing the manager in the middle of the season
“The important thing is to keep the players’ spirits high, I think they’ve done a good job. We have to think that the work done by Benitez has been good and I want to wish him all the best for the future. My message is work. We are going to try to do things right, help the players and that is all. I hope that my football is positive and balanced. That Is what I want to bring and going forward we’ll see”.
James, Isco, Modric and Kovacic
“The entire team is going to be important. They are great players and they are going to be improtant for me, the fans and for everyone. In the future we will see the side that is going to play”.
“I understand that he may be annoyed with Benítez leaving because he was an important manager for him, but he will get the same care from me. He is a crucial player for the side and I can say nothing else. I am going to give him all the possible care and support so that he plays well”.
“I am always going to play with the three. That is my clear idea”.
Comparison with other managers
“There is no need to do that. Guardiola is Guardiola and I am going to try and do things as well as possible. Guardiola is a fantastic manager and is doing really well, but I am not going to make comparisons. The day to day work is what is important and what I am going to contribute to the squad. I am going to do everything possible to ensure that everyone works well”.
“It is true that I knew Mourinho, Ancelotti and many of the players. I have always taken something from each of them and they have always given me something important because they have experience. What I have to do is be the manager that I want to be. The important thing is to do what is right for the players. I have to be Zidane”.
“I have had him as a manager too and I worked with him as assistant coach. What he told me is that the most important thing is to win games and for the players to be in good form”.
Differences with Benítez
“I am going to try to add a personal touch and an attacking touch. I will try to maintain my managerial playing style and I want to get the players to have a good time out on the pitch. I have to contribute something more and that is what I am going to do on a day to day basis with my work”.
His assistant coach and contract
“There are people that have already worked with me at Castilla. That is my working team and we are not going to look for an assistant manager. I have a two and a half years’ contract. We have yet to talk about the contract as first team manager. We will do soon”.
And here’s the video from the announcement yesterday. His kids are getting so big!
So on to the not so nice stuff. Marca is reporting that Benitez was NOT notified of his dismissal and learned of it when The ‘Peez announced it at the presser:
We have made a difficult decision, which is to terminate the contract of Rafael Benítez with the first team. He is a magnificent professional and a fantastic person. I want to thank him for his work these past months. The board of directors has decided to name Zidane as the manager of the first team”. That was how, in just 22 seconds, Florentino Pérez ended Benítez’s time as the ‘Los Blancos’ manager.
However, the treatment of the man born in Madrid goes further. When those words were being spoken, Benítez had still not been told officially that he was no longer the Real Madrid coach. The fact is that on Monday afternoon they had told him that no decision had been made, but that he should call by at the Bernabéu, something which he did not want to do in order to avoid his photo being taken going into the stadium. Neither he, nor his agent Manuel García Quilón went.
The Spaniard, who will be paid for the remaining season on his contract, appeared surprised when he heard that Zidane’s family was there. “One more thing they’ve done to me”, he commented, resigned to his situation, whilst assuring that he would be leaving with a clear conscience. He also said that the club had asked him to do what they had not dared to, such as punishing James and Jesé. “Impossible to work like that”, he told those close to him.
Wow. If true, that’s completely douche-tastic, but then again, this is Real Madrid we’re talking about and we kinda set the bar for that far too often. I just think it’s an incredibly shitty thing to do. That’s like breaking up with someone via voicemail or a post it note and hell, Rafa didn’t even get that consideration. Look, it didn’t work out. These things often don’t but be professional. Is that so hard? JFC.
Rafa classed it up and left a nice note on his website.
Now, at the end of my time as first team coach of Real Madrid,I would like to use this article to say goodbye to everyone at every level of the club. I want everyone at the club from the Board of directors, executives, workers and all of the fans, know that it has been an honour and privilege to be in charge at this club.were I grew up as a person, player and coach from the lowest categories through to the first team. As a madridista from Madrid, steeped in the traditions and values of this institution, which I learned in the old sports city of Castellana, it has been an honour to work for these colours. I would especially like to thank everyone at the new sports city and the Santiago Bernabéu who since my first steps through the door have supported me and made my work easier. Thanks to all for helping.
With all that I have said still in mind, I would like to wish good luck to Zinedine Zidane,my successor, and his staff. To all the players, coaches and staff in both Valdebebas and Bernabéu, I wish all the best and also good luck.
With all my respect and thanks… HALA MADRID and NOTHING ELSE.
I see the mothership didn’t even bother to allow him a statement on the site. Considering how they ditched his ass, the statement probably would have read: “Fuck you, you fucking fucks!” which would have been totally understandable, IMHO. But hey, he’s getting paid, so he can go on a long vacation somewhere nice like the Maldives and lick his wounds. I think it’s gotta be a lot easier to heal your heartbreak in a luxe beach hut with a mai tai in hand. Always worked for me.
So best of luck to you Rafa, I’m sorry that they done you dirty. They should have handled this like adults.
And onward. Let’s try to move on from this latest drama and hopefully no more (well, unless you count the reports that G-Money wants to leave because he’s pissed off).
REAL MADRID, COULD YOU PLEASE JUST PLAY FOOTBALL AND GIVE ME A BREAK FROM ALL THE BULLSHIT? KTHXBAI.