Zinedine Zidane will manage his 100th game for Real Madrid this weekend.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has penned an open letter to Los Blancos legend Zinedine Zidane as he prepares to take charge of his 100th game as coach this weekend, praising the incredible contributions the Frenchman has made to the club over the last 16 years.
"Zinedine Zidane, who plays his 100th game tomorrow as coach of our team, belongs to the extraordinary group of characters chosen to be one of our symbols," Perez said in the letter published through Marca.
"I have the privilege of having brought Zinedine Zidane to the club of his life, to Real Madrid, in the year 2001," the Bernabeu chief continued.
"Since I was elected president I was convinced that Zidane had to be with us. And many years later, even though I had ceased to be an active player, people stopped me in the street and thanked me for signing him and for having been able to enjoy his magic and his talent."
Zidane arrived as part of Perez's Galacticos project for a world record fee in the summer of 2001 and proceeded to win the Champions League with an iconic goal at the end of his first season. He has since delivered Champions League titles in both seasons since he took over as coach.
"That impossible volley in Glasgow is the perfect expression of how it contributed decisively to change the history of Real Madrid," Perez commented.
"And now, as in 2001, he was also convinced that he should be the coach of the first team. He brings together everything that has led us today and continues to lead us to success.
"Zidane is pure talent but it is also work and sacrifice, it is persistence in the pursuit of perfection, it is insatiable in its hunger for victories and titles and always shows respect and humility.
"Meet the club. He enjoys it and lives it every day. It is an unparalleled benchmark for our players. It transmits the essence of Real Madrid and it continues gaining to pulse the affection of a hobby that adores to him.
"As a Real Madrid coach he has already won everything, as he did as a player. Not even two years have passed since his debut on January 9, 2016, and he has already won two European Cups, one Club World Cup, two European Super Cups, one Liga and one Spanish Super Cup."
For Zidane, Perez believes it is still all about looking forward and refusing to rest on his early success, despite the incredible things he's achieved.
"But as Zidane himself knows, this club always aspires to more. He knows the history and fate of Real Madrid and he is living his position with maximum responsibility and also with enthusiasm," Perez said.
"Zidane has the difficult mission of trying to make happy hundreds of millions of fans around the world and who know that our team is in the best hands. He arrived to stay forever with us and his passion for Real Madrid will help us continue to fulfill our dreams."