Real Madrid announced today that former star, and center of the galaxia Zinedine Zidane will take over as Sporting Director for the first team--the position formerly held by José Mourinho's nemesis (and my "good friend"**) Jorge Valdano. I assume that Mourinho will have a much more cordial relationship with Zidane than he did with Valdano--but that's mainly based on this picture. Well, that and the fact that Zidane doesn't really know what the job entails:
We'll see exactly what function I'll have--the important thing is that I'm officially with Real Madrid.
My guess? He'll be a great puppet for Mourinho, and a good link between the coach and the front office--which is really all that Mou wants in a sporting director.
Oh, and in other relatively unimportant news, los Merengues rarely-used Argentine defender Ezekiel Garay has been transferred to Benfica for a reported €5.5 million, plus 50% of the money of any further sale.
More on these two super important jump-off-the-couch developments after the jump.
As to Zidane, he did make one interesting point during his press conference: he compared Neymar with Robinho (the horror!), saying "Neymar is Robinho but with more goal-scoring ability." That sent shivers up my spine for two reasons: 1) it suggests that Madrid are backing off the chase for the Brazilian playmaker, and 2) Zidane and I think alike! OMG!
The way I'm choosing to understand the Garay signing is simply including it in the Coentrão operation: for historical purposes, I'll see the signing as Garay plus €24.5 milion for Coentrão. I think that's more or less right...right?
**I met Jorge Valdano when I was living in Madrid when I was 13. I shook his hand, so that means we're best friends. Right? Right?