And it looks like his legacy will become even more entwined with the club’s, now that it’s been confirmed he will succeed Rafa Benitez as its head coach.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Zidane and he excelled at Madrid. Who can forget his wonder volley to win the Champions League in 2002?
But it’s precisely because I love Zidane that his association with Real Madrid, an otherwise detestable team, is so unfortunate. He also helped justify the Galácticos style of club management, in which an insane amount of money is spent recruiting mega-stars from around the world, turning the top clubs in Europe into identity-less, fantasy versions of soccer teams.
Some people have trouble forgiving Zidane for his infamous head butt. But that doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that he’s a Real Madrid man.
(Full disclosure: I own a Madrid-era Zidane jersey, but it’s the only one they had at the black market stall in Bangkok where I bought it.)