Bodo Illgner: Zidane is Real Madrid's ideal coach - he can look Ronaldo in the eye

Real Madrid Borussia Dortmund Cristiano Ronaldo Zinedine Zidane UEFA Champions League
The ex-goalkeeper believes Los Blancos have the best man at the helm, with the World Cup winner boasting an 'aura' that comes from being a 'world-class' player


Zinedine Zidane’s achievements as a player make him the ideal coach for Real Madrid as he commands the respect of Cristiano Ronaldo, according to former Blancos goalkeeper Bodo Illgner.

Massaging the egos at Santiago Bernabeu and ensuring that everyone is pulling in the same direction has proven as challenging to the man in the hot-seat as tactical tinkering and team selection over recent years at the club.

With a galaxy of stars at his disposal, Zidane has tough calls to make on a daily basis – and some of those decisions are not going to be universally accepted, something which past managers have struggled to deal with.

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Zidane, though, has guided Real to the top of La Liga after leading them to Champions League glory in his debut 2015-16 campaign as the club's head coach.

His standing as a global icon has helped him to make a seamless transition to the dugout, with the World Cup winner boasting an ‘aura’ that is acknowledged and respected by those working under his wing – from the youngsters in La Fabrica through to the iconic figures in the first team.

Illgner told Goal: "There are different types of coaches. [Diego] Simeone, for example, is a coach which puts his stamp, his philosophy on the club and on the team. 

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"Zidane, I would consider to be comparable to [Carlo] Ancelotti or [Vicente] Del Bosque. He is a coach who makes the best out of his possibilities. He has top-class players available but he is also working excellently with them. 

"He is the ideal coach for Real Madrid. Especially young players have big respect for him as he has this aura as a former world-class player. And also stars like Ronaldo respect him as he can talk eye to eye with them, which wasn't the case with [Rafa] Benitez. Furthermore, his calm and prudent character is very helpful as well."

Next up for Zidane, Real and Ronaldo is the latest Clasico against Barcelona, Luis Enrique and Lionel Messi at Camp Nou on Saturday.

Illgner is among those looking forward to another heavyweight scrap between two arch-rivals, with the ex-Germany international confident that the contest will live up to the pre-match billing.

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He added: "So many people are attracted by these big games. 

"It’s enormous, the two best players in the world are on the pitch - with Neymar, maybe the three best. It's one of the biggest games that exists and that's why the hype is justified."