Barca held by Eibar despite Messi double

Zinedine Zidane returns to Real Madrid with surprise three-year deal

11/03/2019

Zinedine Zidane has been re-appointed as Real Madrid manager on a three-year contract replacing Santiago Solari.

Zidane won an unprecedented three consecutive Champions League titles with Real before resigning in May last year.

The Frenchman returns to Real Madrid signing a surprise long-term contract that will keep him at the club until June 2022.

Former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui replaced Zidane but was sacked in October with Solari taking the reins at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Solari's side saw their season fall apart in the space of a week with back-to-back defeats in El Classico in the Copa del Rey and La Liga leaving them 12 points behind rivals Barcelona; while a 4-1 home loss to Ajax in the Champions League, which saw them eliminated 5-3 on aggregate, compounded the pressure on Solari.

It was reported after Madrid's 4-1 weekend win against Real Valladolid that Solari, 42, was to be relieved of his duties on Monday, less than four months after he was given the job on a permanent basis.

Real Madrid confirmed the termination of Solari's contract as first-team coach, but the statement that was released revealed the club "have offered him the opportunity to remain at the club" in an unnamed alternative role.

The club praised their former coach despite relieving him of his current duties, "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".

Reports of Zidane's return to the Bernabeu emerged early on Monday afternoon, with Cadena COPE, Onda Cero, and La Sexta all reporting that Zidane, who had been linked to Juventus, had agreed to once more take the reins at Real.

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