Real Madrid have unveiled Zinedine Zidane as its new coach for the second time after he agreed to become the club again.
The French football legend who left the club after winning the Champions League last year signed a deal that will keep him with the club until summer of 2022.
Speaking in his first press conference since signing the new deal, Zidane revealed his reason for leaving the club and why he decided to return to the club.
He said: ‘When I went it was the right time to leave. I have had various offers since then but I wanted to stay here in Madrid. My first reaction when the president called me was to come back. Here I am.’
Asked about why he left last summer he stuck to the same reasoning he used when he walked away nine months ago saying: ‘I left the club because I thought the squad needed a change after winning everything.
‘I’m back because the president called me. I am happy to be back but it’s a big responsibility because a lot of people love this club.
‘We won the Champions League last season but we lost the league early and the cup too and I was at the controls when those things happened.
‘I know what I did wrong last season and I’m going to do my best to make sure the team does better this time.
‘We have to change things but right now we have time to talk and plan. We have 11 games left. Things are going badly in the league but I was the coach last season and it was the same (in the league).’
Asked about the Juventus striker he said: ‘Everyone knows what Cristiano is. He is one of the greatest and part of the history of this club but we have 11 games left to focus on.’
Asked if he felt returning was a risk he tapped his chest and said: ‘I’m not thinking about that. My heart says that I have rested and the president calls me and I wanted to come and that’s it. The desire I have is what has brought me here.’
Speaking about players who would be staying and would be going at the end of the season, he said: ‘The players here have won so much. I’m not going to get involved in what has happened between them this season.
‘I’ve seen all the games. The players are the first to know that it has been a tough year. You cant always win sometimes you have to lose to get back to where you were before.’
He added: ‘I wouldn’t be here if I thought something negative could happen or there was a risk. I’m a positive person and I’ve managed to rest well these last few months.
‘The Real Madrid president called me and I wanted to return. Maybe four months ago it wouldn’t have worked out, I wouldn’t have come, who knows?
‘But this is the right timing and a great opportunity. I’m really looking forward to this challenge.’
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez who presented the French coach to reporters at the Bernabeu, also added:
‘We are going through a complex and difficult time. We have not had the desired results this season.
‘I want to recognise the professionalism of Santiago Solari in difficult times and we want him to stay at this club if that is what he desires, but we want to start now working towards a new golden era.
‘Dear Zizou, we want everyone to know that the best coach in the world is coming back to Real Madrid.’
Perez was in jocular mood after managing to persuade Zidane to as he put it ‘come home’. Asked about signing Kylian Mbappe he joked: ‘Zidane is French he can maybe do something’.
And asked if he preferred Mbappe or Neymar he said: ‘I would say both’.