Zinedine Zidane must find a way to make his Real Madrid players hungry again, says Clarence Seedorf.
Madrid reappointed Zidane as head coach in March after failed experiments with Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari during a desperately disappointing season by their own lofty standards, which has seen them fall way off the pace in LaLiga and crash out of the Champions League to Ajax in the last 16.
The club legend had led Madrid to three straight Champions League trophies as well as winning LaLiga in the 2016-17 campaign before resigning after beating Liverpool in last season’s European showpiece.
Since returning to the dugout, Madrid have lost just once in the five matches Zidane has overseen but there remains a lack of fluency about their play, while they are locked in a battle with Atletico Madrid to finish second behind Barcelona.
And Seedorf believes Zidane has to find a way to reset the mindset and objectives of his players to get them firing again.
“It’s very understandable that the club chose that route [to appoint Zidane],” Seedorf, who won LaLiga and the Champions League with Madrid during his playing days, told the Daily Mail.
“It’s a new challenge, it’s a new day. There is good harmony with him and the players for sure.
“It’s still this season that is difficult, so you can rebuild from a mental point of view, create that hunger again and set new goals which are not simply winning the Champions League or the league, but how you win, how you play.”
Seedorf believes Zidane’s experience as one of the world’s greatest former players will continue to stand him in good stead as Madrid coach.
“Having had the experience that Zidane has had as a player, it’s an incredible added value when it comes to understanding the players, understanding the dressing room and everything about the game,” he added.
“There is the other part, which is managing people, programming your training sessions, dealing with all the aspects around the team, which is a whole different ball game. Some are more prepared than others to do it.
“Having been there is an extra. It’s not the decisive factor, but it can be if you have the other stuff in place.”