For 15 minutes, Real Madrid sat at the top of the La Liga table, above Barcelona. Reality seemed too good to be true. Then, news broke that Luis Suarez put Barca ahead just over 1,000 kilometers away in Granada. Hope remained, but 16 minutes later, Suarez doubled their lead and all but claimed the league title.
Zinedine Zidane admitted that Barcelona "deserved" to win the league title and until their minor slip up a few weeks back, they were head and shoulders above their competition. They soared above La Liga, but handed out hope to their competition. In the end, the Blaugrana bested Los Blancos by one single point in the table.
Popular demand declared Real Madrid dead in January and the significance of Zidane's appointment now reigns true. While the club didn't usurp Barcelona in the table, the Frenchman's heroics had his cherished club fighting for the title on the final day, a fortune that seemed unattainable when Zidane took the helm.
Instability has haunted Real Madrid over the past few years and attributed to Barcelona's dominance in La Liga. However, if Florentino Perez can remain calm, the odds that Real Madrid lift the title in 2017 are worth betting on. Since the day the Frenchman took over, the table reads Real Madrid - 53 points, Barcelona - 52 points. In the span of 20 games, Zidane's Madrid dropped just seven points and finished with the best 20-game start for a boss in club history.
Additionally, Barcelona played 21 games in that stretch.
Zidane has won more points (53) in his first 20 Liga games than any other Real Madrid manager in history. #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/9QUjrnMHLA— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 16, 2016
Zidane emits hope, and brought harmony back to Real Madrid. He reversed the culture in a few short months. Gareth Bale is performing at his best since arriving in the Spanish capital and both the Welshman and Cristiano Ronaldo presently coexist. The club finished out the campaign on a 12-game win streak and allowed just nine goals in that span.
Despite finishing second, the future is bright for Los Blancos, perhaps brighter than it's been in recent years (Possibly because Madridista's eyes are still adjusting to the newly found light). A full summer of tinkering rests ahead of Zidane and he possesses a team that's playing for him. Anything looks possible under his wing.
Reminder: Real Madrid is in the UEFA Champions League final.