Zinedine Zidane returns as Real Madrid manager. Can he do it without Cristiano Ronaldo?

After a tumultuous season for Los Blancos that has seen them sack Santiago Solari just three months after he joined them, crash out of the Champions League at the hands of Ajax and fall far below domestic expectations, Zinedine Zidane will return to the Santiago Bernabeu.

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BAPTISM OF FIRE: The Spaniard lasted just 3 months in the Madrid dugout

The legendary midfielder and (already) trophy coveted manager has returned to the helm at Real who, to say have had a season to forget is an understatement.

Having left the Spanish giants in May 2018 after his third successive Champions League triumph, the Frenchman is back in the capital to end the mediocrity of Santiago Solari’s reign as first team coach. He has signed on a deal until 2022.

It’s a sensational turn of events that has seen Los Blancos going from ruling Europe with an iron fist to now having a trophyless 2018/19.

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SERIAL WINNER: He helped Los Blancos win an incredible 3 Champions Leagues in a row

Some argue that the World Cup winner only succeeded as much as he did due to the squad he had, AKA Cristiano Ronaldo. A combination of two of football’s greats had success written all over it and their sudden departures from the Bernabeu sent shock waves through the club.

His succession certainly wasn’t thought about by Florentino Perez and the appointment of Julen Lopetegui failed to inspire a Madrid side that had lost its goal scoring genius to the Italian juggernaut in Juventus.

Zidane’s record as Real Madrid manager: 149 games, 9 trophies

With Lopetegui being sacked just months into a dream job that had cost him his World Cup campaign with the Spanish national team, Santiago Solari was hardly going to revive a season that was doomed to fail from the start.

This is one piece of the puzzle that the Real Madrid hierarchy have solved, but there is only so much Zizou can do with a side that has been starved of goals. In the summer, there is no question there will be someone coming to the Bernabeu for astronomical sums of money to fill the irreplaceable gap that CR7 has left.

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SUCKER PUNCH: Both Ronaldo and Zidane left after the 2017/18 season

Will the serial trophy winner be able to rework his manage with an uninspired Los Blancos side without Cristiano Ronaldo? Only time will tell, but let us know on what you think on Twitter @TasteofFtbl!

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