Zinedine Zidane will be given time to become Real Madrid’s own Pep Guardiola, according to former defender Ivan Campo.
The former France star replaced Rafael Benitez at the helm at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this month and has overseen 5-0 and 5-1 wins in his first two Liga matches in charge.
Cristiano Ronaldo spoke of a better sense of understanding between the senior squad and Zidane compared to Benitez’s time in charge, and Campo – who won the Champions League alongside Zidane in 2002 – believes the 43-year-old’s relationship with the players could see him replicate the remarkable success of Guardiola during his time with Barcelona.
“Zizou is a god! I think that some of the problems affecting Real Madrid are going to be solved immediately,” he enthused to the International Business Times.
“In order to succeed in a huge team it is mandatory to know what goes on inside the dressing room. Football stars want to play week in week out, but only 11 can play. You need something else than knowing how hard it is to deal with this situation.
“You need to show experience and convey respect. We have seen many situations where it all fell apart because the manager was not able to convey respect; that is the main difference between Zidane and Benitez, for example.
“You can tell him anything even if you are not playing and you are, for instance, Sergio Ramos, James Rodriguez or Gareth Bale. As a footballer, you can only be happy because he is very approachable and he understands all kinds of situations. Joy in the dressing room is essential to succeed in a top club, and Zidane has brought happiness from the first day.
“The players are going to be much calmer under Zidane. A couple of words will be enough to leave everything clear. It is easier to persuade Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale or Karim Benzema to press the rivals if you are Zidane. He did not like to run but he did not understand football without the ball, which is why he was the first one on the pitch giving 100 per cent in order to recover possession as soon as possible.
“That has been Real Madrid’s philosophy during their whole history. And that is what I expect to see shortly. If Zidane speaks, you listen.
“He is going to succeed because the Bernabeu support adore him and he knows what is required for success at the club; communication, respect and calmness inside the dressing room. I know he might have to deal with a FIFA transfer ban, and that Madrid are now in third position, but supporters and club are looking for their own Pep Guardiola. He will be given time and patience to do his job.”