Are Actual Madrid going backwards? The numbers behind Zidane’s first 199 video games

  • Zinedine Zidane is approaching his 200th sport accountable for Actual Madrid, however there are indicators of decline in his ageing squad.


Modified 13 Jun 2020, 12:32 IST

Zinedine Zidane - cropped
Zinedine Zidane

The return of LaLiga might be significantly particular for Actual Madrid as it can see Zinedine Zidane attain 200 video games as head coach.

The previous midfielder, now in his second spell within the dugout, is third on the all-time record of matches accountable for Los Blancos in all competitions, behind solely Vicente del Bosque (246) and Miguel Munoz (605).

Few might argue towards Zidane’s achievements. As soon as one of the best footballer on this planet, he guided Madrid to a few consecutive Champions League triumphs – an unprecedented feat within the trendy competitors – alongside with seven different trophies, together with two UEFA Tremendous Cups, two Supercopas de Espana, two Membership World Cups and the 2016-17 LaLiga title.

He has additionally received 131 of his 199 matches as Madrid boss, a document few contemporaries can match in European soccer. Add just a few extra to that tally earlier than the tip of this season, and a second LaLiga title might comply with – supplied they’ll overhaul Barcelona’s two-point benefit on the prime.

There are, nevertheless, some causes to be involved. Whereas few Madridistas dispute Zidane’s pedigree, there may be an simple decline within the numbers since he first took over from Rafael Benitez in January 2015.

Utilizing Opta knowledge, we have a look at the state of play…


In easy phrases, Madrid’s outcomes are, on common, on the decline.

Zidane secured 21 victories from 27 video games in all competitions after taking cost in January 2016 – a win price of 77.7 per cent. That has dropped yr on yr and now stands at 54 per cent should you mix the 11 video games of final season, when he took over from Santiago Solari, and 39 video games in 2019-20.

Defeats have crept up in quantity, from simply two in 2015-16 to six this time period, the height being 9 in 62 video games in 2017-18.

Few had been stunned when Solari was sacked final time period, however he truly managed  22 wins from 32 video games – a price of 68.7 – and averaged extra objectives per sport ( 2.21 in comparison with 1.86 ) than Zidane has since.


Madrid followers have a sure expectation in the case of attacking soccer, however these calls for are usually not being totally glad.

Zidane’s facet averaged 2.6 objectives per sport in his first 27 matches in cost and that elevated to 2.8 in 2016-17, once they scored 173 instances in all competitions en path to a league and Champions League double. Within the 50 video games since his return final yr, that common has dropped to 1.86.

Madrid’s shot conversion price throughout Zidane’s second spell is 11.52 , once more the bottom it has been with him in cost. So too are pictures per sport ( 16.14 ) and pictures on track per sport ( 6.16 ).

The plain issue right here is the lack of Cristiano Ronaldo, who left for Juventus in 2018, however Madrid have additionally spent this season largely with out Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard, whereas Luka Jovic has been a giant disappointment. The burden has fallen virtually solely on the shoulders of Karim Benzema, who has scored a commendable 19 in all competitions this time period and created extra possibilities than anybody else in LaLiga ( 44 ).


It does appear the assault is the place the issues lie. Defensively, Madrid are coping effectively sufficient.

Captain Sergio Ramos is now 34 and Marcelo seems previous his greatest, however their defensive energy as a complete is on an analogous stage to earlier seasons.

Since Zidane’s return, Madrid have confronted 9.4 pictures per sport on common, with 3.3 of these on track. Each of these are the bottom such figures seen beneath the Frenchman.

Madrid have solely conceded 19 objectives in LaLiga in 2019-20, which is one of the best document within the division. They’re letting in fewer than a objective a sport on common for the primary time since 2015-16.

Just a few extra objectives on the different finish might swing the season again of their favour.


If the assault is to get firing once more, higher use of the ball is paramount.

Madrid common 58.39 per cent of possession of their video games this season, which is according to years passed by, as is their passing accuracy and passes-per-game price. It is what they do with the ball that holds them again.

Together with assists, they’ve created 635 possibilities since Zidane’s return – a price of 12.7 per sport. That is the lowest it has been since earlier than 2016.

Once more, personnel issues have counted towards Zidane. Hazard was signed from Chelsea for €100million to fill a inventive void, however accidents have ruined his first season in Spain. Likewise, Asensio has been out since final Might, James Rodriguez is out of favour, Isco has been out and in of the group and Luka Modric’s top-level profession appears to be winding down. Federico Valverde has been a revelation in midfield, however playmaking shouldn’t be his forte.

It isn’t all doom and gloom, and it is actually not all Zidane’s fault, however he has some work to do if that is to be remembered as a profitable – if unusual – season, and if his subsequent 200 video games are to herald comparable glory as his first.

Revealed 13 Jun 2020, 12:32 IST

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