"Zidane is a great coach and will become an even better one" says Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini was a phone-in guest on Cadena SER's 'El Larguero' programme and gave his thoughts on Zidane's time at Real Madrid.

Hebei China Fortune coach Manuel Pellegrini was a phone-in guest on Cadena SER's El Larguero programme last night. The Chilean, who spent a season at the helm at Real Madrid, knows full well the pressures which current Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is under. He spoke very highly of Zizou and says the trophies he has won during his time in charge say all we need to know about his qualities as a manager and he believes the Frenchman will only get better at his job with time.

Period of relaxation following quick success

“The distance between Madrid and Barça in the table is very difficult and it’s a difficult moment for him but it’s something which happens frequently with a lot of clubs who have enjoyed a period of great success and won a lot of trophies in a short space of time – it’s normal that the team goes through a period when they relax. And when there is so much competition with a team like Barcelona, there’s the realization that the league is over. But Real Madrid have great tradition - they are a club who are used to winning, their coach has proved himself and they have a great squad… they’ve missed out on one or two trophies but they have every chance in the world of retaining the Champions League title”, Pellegrini said.

When asked if he was surprised by Madrid’s recent slump and calls for the coach to be sacked, the Chilean replied: “It’s par for the course in today’s game; as soon as you slip up, the criticism starts. He’s only been in the job for a short time and he’s already won a sizeable amount of silverware, so now, when the team is not doing so well, he’s under-fire. It’s unavoidable, whether you win trophies or not. It’s tremendously difficult to win the amount of trophies which Zidane had done with his team. Also, his experience in the game, and all of the knowledge he has amassed – as a player and now as a coach in a huge plus in his favour. All of that has helped him a lot. It’s difficult to evaluate what he’s done in only two years but the trophies he has won speak volumes about the great coach he is, and he can only get even better”.

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