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The Blancos legend believes his former team-mate, who has seen his position questioned, remains the right man for the Liga heavyweights

The criticism being aimed at Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane this season has been “unfair”, says Iker Casillas, with the Blancos considered to have “a very good coach” doing a “great job”.

The legendary Frenchman delivered another La Liga title to Santiago Bernabeu in 2019-20, with a domestic crown and three Champions League triumphs delivered during a previous stint in the Spanish capital.

Building on those successes has proved tricky in 2020-21, with Madrid struggling for consistency alongside arch-rivals Barcelona.

Questions have been asked of Zidane’s ability to keep Real in contention for major honours at home and abroad.

A positive response has been offered by the Blancos over recent weeks, with encouraging results collected in La Liga and the Champions League, and Casillas believes they still have the right man at their helm.

He told The National of Zidane: “Let’s start from the point that Real Madrid is always a target for criticism. Right now, this is a bit out of place because it’s not a catastrophe; it’s not until May that competitions are decided.

“The criticism Zidane has been receiving has also been unfair because he’s been a very good coach and he’s earned his right to lose. He’s won three Champions Leagues, two leagues in Spain and he’s doing a great job. So I don’t think we can demand a lot more from him.

“He’s giving that continuity that’s really important for the team. We cannot forget that, while Real Madrid is a club that has many big names – Ramos, [Luka] Modric, [Toni] Kroos, [Karim] Benzema – it has a very young pool of players that also need to find their place and come through.”

Casillas claims Zidane will have turned a deaf ear to his detractors and the World Cup winner is not about to change his ways for anyone.

“The reason is his style is very suited to the intensity of the situation,” Casillas added on his former team-mate.“Also, he is able to surround himself with the right staff. Besides that, given his career as a football player himself, he can read and understand the life of the players, and realises the mentality that going from competition and from game-to-game requires.

“He has won many titles; he has lived through it all, both personally as a player and as part of a team. He’s been able to take this experience onto the pitch as a coach as well. Other than that, besides a coach, he’s also a great manager, because it’s a very difficult skill to be able to manage a club and a team.”

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December 18, 2020
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