A much changed Real Madrid since Zidane’s departure


It was 100 days ago when an earthquake shook the foundations of Real Madrid as Zinedine Zidane decided to leave the club just six days after conquering his third consecutive Champions League title.

The Frenchman put an end to his glorious cycle in a surprising way and claimed, despite having a contract in force, that the club needed a change.

“It’s a bit weird, but it had to be done,” Zidane said in his resignation press conference.

“I think this team has to keep winning and needed a change, the team needed another voice and another methodology of work.”

Since May 31, 100 days have passed in which Madrid has undergone many changes.

Some of them have had to do with the arrival of Julen Lopetegui to replace Zidane, while others have dealt with decisions from the leaders, who now didn’t have the power of a Zidane who backed up his words with title after title.

We review some of the most important.

Revolution in goal

Zidane refused to touch the topic of goalkeeper; a situation he felt was perfectly covered with Keylor Navas

Thus, he successively blocked the arrivals of David De Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

With Zidane no longer here, the club did not miss the chance to incorporate Thibaut Courtois, best goalkeeper of the last World Cup, at a reasonable price one year before his contract expired.

Although Navas played the first few games, the Belgian took the role of starter against Leganes, which now appears to be his for the rest of the season.

Bale from the bench to a leader

Gareth Bale lost his status last year. His great form over the final weeks of the season was not enough for him to start in Kiev, where he ended up being the biggest star, bicycle-kick goal included.

This season, nobody is debating his presence and his league participation is being measured by goals.

In Madrid they see him as the heir to Cristiano Ronaldo and the Welshman, at least for the time being, is doing well.

In fact, we are seeing the best version of him since he signed for Los Blancos five years ago.


From discarded to key

Dani Ceballos was not able to gain Zidane’s confidence, as was demonstrated by the few minutes he played.

The Sevillian now does have the support of Lopetegui who already told the media that he would be important in his squad.

As will also be a Mariano who has been recovered, after having left for Olympique Lyon due to a lack of minutes with Zizou, to increase the competition up front.

Lopetegui wanted a striker and Madrid has got him a player who with the Frenchman had no place. From dispensable to untouchable.

More investment than in two years

Zidane’s triumphant era was not based on flashy signings. In fact, Madrid spent more money this summer than in the past two transfer markets in which Zidane was the coach of the locker room.

They arrived, yes, young players and cheap, such as Marco Asensio, Dani Ceballos, Theo Hernandez and Marcos Llorente.

Although the policy is to continue betting on young players with promise, in the last summer, Florentino Perez’s Madrid invested 146 million euros, counting the 45m on Vinicius, as well as Mariano, Courtois and Alvaro Odriozola.

A team ethos without CR7

The Madrid of the past last nine years has been Ronaldo’s Madrid. His 450 goals, 50 per season, made the Portuguese the star and great reference of a team that won many titles thanks to the huge contribution from the now Juventus footballer.

With his departure Lopetegui is insisting, as the club believes, that the rest of the players must take a step forward in the scoring aspect.

Asensio, Benzema and Bale (the last two have scored eight goals in the four official matches) must raise their performing quota so that Ronaldo is just a memory of a time of glorious titles, but in the past.