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Champions League

Real Madrid – La Liga: LaLiga Santander, Champions League or both: Zidane’s ‘tradition’ is still on

Since he first became Real Madrid coach, Zinedine Zidane has not failed in his pursuit of major silverware – not even once.

The Frenchman has won either LaLiga Santander or the Champions League – or both – in every season that he’s been in charge.

La Undecima to start

Sergio Ramos

Zidane took over from Rafael Benitez halfway through the 2015/16 season, with the LaLiga Santander title almost out of reach and the Champions League knockout stages still to come. Los Blancos would push Barcelona all the way for the domestic title, winning their last 12 LaLiga Santander fixtures in succession.

In Europe, they suffered a scare in their Champions League quarter final with Wolfsburg but bounced back to progress. After eliminating Manchester City in the last four, Real Madrid won their 11th European Cup against Atletico Madrid in Milan.

The following season, Zidane delivered on both fronts, guiding his team to their second straight Champions League title in Cardiff while also beating Barcelona to the LaLiga Santander crown.

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Third consecutive Champions League


Having been off the pace in LaLiga Santander and knocked out of the Copa del Rey early, Real Madrid’s eggs all went into the Champions League basket in 2017/18. They didn’t fail, though, as Zidane resigned after winning a third successive Champions League title in Kiev.

The French coach returned to his role the following March, by which time Los Blancos had already been knocked out of the Champions League and Copa del Rey, while Barcelona were uncatchable in LaLiga Santander.

Real Madrid would recover their LaLiga Santander title in the 2019/20 season, as Zidane claimed another winner’s medal.

The latest challenge

Lorenzo Sanz’s Real Madrid

Zidane‘s record in LaLiga Santander and the Champions League looks under threat more than ever during a difficult current campaign. Real Madrid haven’t lost sight on both competitions, though, which is more than Barcelona, Atletico and Sevilla can say.

Injuries have played their part in the disappointing feeling around Real Madrid’s season, with Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema among those affected. Having negotiated the group stage of the Champions League and kept on Atletico’s tail in LaLiga Santander, there is hope this season could yet yield silverware, though. It is tradition for Zidane, after all.

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