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Zidane's Leverage for Change

Considering the Frenchman's iconic status as a player and recent success as coach, Zidane has an advantageous pull that managers in the past have lacked under Florentino Perez.

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Following the signing of Spanish striker Alvaro Morata, the intentions of Zinedine Zidane are becoming quite clear; to strengthen areas that need the most assistance. Sounds like common sense when it comes to a recruiting policy, but at times Madrid can miss the point of a transfer window due to the overwhelming influence of the club president. The Spanish giants still need to sign a back-up left-back to cover the adventurous Marcelo and a center-mid to provide competition and depth for Casemiro to cover all of their bases. Ranging from Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, and Eden Hazard; we've all heard the transfer rumors varying from outlets like Sport, Marca and L'equipe. What's new is the cause behind these moves.

No longer are these football dailies reporting Perez's desire to bring a Galactico name. Instead, most of these platforms are claiming that Zidane is the driving force behind the transfer talk. This is refreshing and optimistic as players have been sold and bought according to the president's wants. Whether it means breaking up Champions League-winning sides or simply ignoring the manager's request for recruits, the good-willed yet naive Perez can become a road block for coaches looking to instill their ideology into the club.

Many pundits have pointed out that Zidane is a living legend in the Spanish capitol. This is extremely important because say hypothetically the Frenchman is sacked, Perez could face heavy backlash from the club's supporters. We're talking potential riots in the streets, old-school protesting; who knows? Hooliganism has a wide spectrum and I'm sure Perez would do anything in his power to avoid any negative publicity that could tarnish the global brand he is aiming to withhold. The decision would be unfavorable to say the least, and followers would likely call for Perez's resignation as he has struck nerves by selling Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria, Xabi Alonso, and firing Carlo Ancelotti in recent history.

The admiration that Zidane receives is tremendous and may be the key that allows Perez to finally take a backseat when it comes to sporting decisions. Reports after the 15-16 La Undecima success suggested that Zizou would have full autonomy on transfers. This could open the window of opportunity for Florentino to focus on what he knows and does best, the business side of running a football club instead of making important sporting decisions.

Essentially for the first time since Jose Mourinho's arrival from Inter, this summer may be the best opportunity for Zidane to set up a dynasty for years to come as a result of his European success and intense push in La Liga, in addition to his legacy he has established with Los Blancos. Real already has a very talented pool of senior players to select from as well as youth players who are showing great potential. There is no reason why Zidane cannot put in place the structure for dominance and continuity with the resources Real Madrid has.

To sum, Zidane's lordly reputation in Spain functions nearly as a safeguard to being sacked and requisite for respect. Though Perez hasn't necessarily grown or learned from his previous experiences with other managers, it's like Zidane is Madrid's Special One. The players, fans, and board all want to see him succeed, thus Zizou has a certain extent of leverage and power that can dictate sporting decisions typically made by Perez. Similar to Mourinho, Zidane has a real say in which players should be signed and which should be off-loaded. In effect, this suggests that the former Juventus and Bordeaux player could have an unprecedented amount of time and patience under Perez, while also separating the duties of business and sport between the two.

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