Zidane's Evolution: Player, Legend, and Coaching Genius

A successful footballer does not guarantee a good coaching career. Zidane, known as “Zizou,” is a good example. Despite a successful playing career, his coaching shift was remarkable. In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating journey of Zinedine Zidane, from his early playing days to his remarkable coaching career.


Zidane’s Early Career

Zidane made his professional debut at 17 with Cannes in 1988/89. Everyone saw his talent, especially Bordeaux, which recruited him in 1992 after Cannes’ relegation. Zidane began a distinguished career with this transfer.

Together with future world and European champions Bixente Lizarazu and Christophe Dugarry, Zidane became a Bordeaux regular. He won individual awards and helped Bordeaux win their first team title, the Intertoto Cup, in the summer of 1995, which took them to the UEFA Cup final, where they lost to Bayern Munich.


The Record-Breaking Move to Real Madrid

Real Madrid signed Zidane for 150 billion lire (about €77.5 million by fixed exchange rate) in 2001, breaking all transfer records. Zidane wore the number 5 shirt and had a great debut season. Zidane’s left-footed volley against Bayer Leverkusen helped Real Madrid win the Spanish Super Cup and Champions League.

Zidane led Real Madrid to La Liga, UEFA Super Cup, and Intercontinental Cup titles in 2002/03. The following season produced only the Spanish Super Cup, his last trophy. Zidane retired following the 2006 World Cup, which ended with his expulsion in the final against Italy for headbutting Marco Materazzi.


Zidane’s Coaching Journey

Zidane managed Real Madrid in 2009 after a brief hiatus. He returned to football in 2013 as Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Real Madrid.

Zidane took over Castilla, Real Madrid’s second squad, in June 2014 and led them to a sixth-place finish in Segunda Division B. In January 2016, Florentino Perez unexpectedly appointed Zidane as first-team coach. The action raised eyebrows, but Perez showed prudence. Zidane led Real Madrid to a Champions League win over Atletico Madrid in Milan in a penalty shootout a few months after taking over.


The Golden Era of Zidane’s Coaching

The 2016/17 season marked the start of a golden era for Zidane as a coach. Real Madrid achieved an unprecedented feat by winning back-to-back Champions League titles, with the 2017 victory coming against Juventus in the final. In addition to European success, Real Madrid secured La Liga, the UEFA Super Cup, and the Club World Cup.

In the subsequent season, Zidane outdid himself by securing a historic third consecutive Champions League title in Kiev, defeating Liverpool. This remarkable achievement cemented his legacy as the only manager to achieve such a feat in the history of the competition.

Real Madrid’s success under Zidane extended beyond Europe, with the team also winning the Spanish Super Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, and the Club World Cup that season.



Zinedine Zidane’s rise from football superstar to coaching master is a testament to his talent and passion to the game. His highs and lows, prizes and challenges captivate football fans worldwide. As we await Zidane’s next chapter in his incredible career, the football world will watch with anticipation.