Zinedine Zidane Returns as Real Madrid Manager

Zidane resigned after leading Real Madrid to a third straight UEFA Champions League title last season and won nine trophies in his first stint as the club's manager.
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Zinedine Zidane will return to Real Madrid to take over as the club's new manager, the club confirmed on Monday. He has signed on through 2022 and will replace Santiago Solari with immediate effect.

Zidane previously managed Real Madrid from 2016-18. He suddenly resigned after helping the club capture its third straight UEFA Champions League title last year.

To make room for Zidane, Real Madrid parted ways with Solari, who took over for Julen Lopetegui in October 2018 and had signed an extension through 2021 in November after impressing in an interim role. 

Solari's future with the club became shaky after Real Madrid bowed out of both the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League in a week's time.

Under Solari, Madrid has also struggled to keep pace in the league this season, though it rebounded from its horrid start under Lopetegui to cement a place in the top four. The Galácticos entered the week third place in the La Liga standings, trailing first-place Barcelona by 12 points after both won over the weekend. Real Madrid says it has offered Solari a role to remain with the club. He had been the coach of the reserve Castilla squad prior to taking charge of the first team.

"Real Madrid wish to thank Solari for his work, commitment and the loyalty that he has always displayed towards this club, which is his home," the club wrote in a statement.

During his first spell, Zidane led Madrid to nine trophies, including the La Liga crown in 2016-17 and the three Champions League titles. The Frenchman, who starred as a player for Real Madrid as well, helped the Spanish giants win two UEFA Super Cups, two FIFA Club World Cups and one Spanish Super Cup. Real Madrid won 104 of the 149 games he managed and set the Spanish records for unbeaten streak (40 matches) and consecutive matches with a goal (73) and will be seeking a similar result upon his return.