Alvaro Benito was once a promising youth prospect in Real Madrid’s academy. His career was sadly ruined by injury, but he later found himself as a coach, again within Real Madrid’s youth set-up. He has always been vocal about his affection for Real Madrid. One could argue that vocal affection was to a fault, as it cost him his job with the club. Nonetheless, he is a respected voice within Spanish football and has a clear understanding of the game and high-level tactics. In an interview with Cadena Ser on El Laguero, the former player and coach defended Zidane after recent dismal displays from his Real Madrid team.
“If Zidane has not earned credit to be able to stumble a few times, than no one has credit in this world!” Benito emphasized. “An overhaul of the Real Madrid dressing room? That’s simply not possible with the pandemic.”
Alvaro Benito then went on to explain his position further — pointing to Zidane’s decision to return to Real Madrid in their time of need. “ We must not overlook the moment when Zidane returned. He had to eat ten matchdays in which he had nothing to gain and much to lose. He ate them for free. He came to the aid of Real Madrid at their lowest moment”
In addition to the points made by Alvaro Benito, it is worth noting that Zidane not only returned with Real Madrid at their lowest, but did not receive all the reinforcements he desired in his first summer back. The superstar that did arrive, unfortuantely ended up injured for the whole season. Zidane still delivered silverware. Additionally, Zidane was the first coach in over 40 years to receive no new players (aside from Odegaard back from loan) to start a new season. The Frenchman’s teams typically start slow and with a short break from a demanding post-lockdown season, maybe those stumbles should have been expected.