Zinedine Zidane has officially left the Santiago Bernabeu, but the legendary Real Madrid midfielder-turned-manager hasn’t done so without taking one (or two) final shot at president Florentino Perez.
In Zidane’s mind, it was Perez’s “lack of faith and support” which ultimately made his position untenable and drove him out of the club for the second time in three years. Zidane’s wish was to reshape and rebuild the Real Madrid squad, to build something for “the medium or long term,” but Perez couldn’t see past his own win-now obsession — quotes from the BBC:
“I’m going, but I’m not jumping overboard, nor am I tired of coaching. I’m leaving because I feel the club no longer has the faith in me I need, nor the support to build something in the medium or long term.
“I understand football and I know the demands of a club like Real Madrid. I know when you don’t win, you have to leave.
“I’m a natural-born winner and I was here to win trophies, but even more important than this are the people, their feelings, life itself and I have the sensation these things have not been taken into account.
“There has been a failure to understand that these things also keep the dynamics of a great club going. To some extent I have even been rebuked for it.”
It is truly a wonder that Zidane was a world class player and legend at Real Madrid, who then came back to the club and became a legend all over again as the three-time (successively) Champions League-winning manager, yet the president has now run him out of the club and job twice, yet no one has done — or, perhaps can do — anything to stop him.
Power must be the strongest drug ever known to man, because Florentino Perez never misses an opportunity to remind the world just how much power he wields at Real Madrid, arguably the world’s most powerful and dominant sports organization.