How long does Zinedine Zidane have left at Real Madrid?
La Liga giants lost again this week
It seemed that Zinedine Zidane had turned a corner with Real Madrid, but his side came crashing back down at Espanyol.
Gerard Moreno’s injury-time winner handed the Barcelona side their first win over Los Blancos in a decade.
It wasn’t unfair on the hosts either, who consistently put Zidane’s men under pressure.
Real have now played the same number of games as Barcelona, bit sit a mighty 14 points behind their fierce rivals.
Speculation has surrounded Zidane throughout the season. Real won the Champions League and La Liga last term but have been way off the pace this time around.
Real have never shown too much patience when it comes to their managers, so how long does Zidane have left at the Santiago Bernabeu?
Success in the Champions League could save the former midfielder. Real beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 in the first leg of their round of 16 clash.
They’re at home for the second leg and will face a French side without world record signing Neymar.
A La Liga title is out of reach, but they must still play Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. Winning both of those could also ease Zidane’s position, in the short-term at least.
Problems down the road
But in the long term the ex-Juventus ace faces a number of dilemmas.
There are continued reports that the club are unhappy with and are looking to offload Gareth Bale.
And then there’s Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese superstar is 33 now, and even he can’t deny the effects of time.
Real must find a successor to the striker, hence all the Neymar reports, perhaps.
There is quality in the midfield. Isco, Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Marco Asensio, but the man who makes Real tick, Luka Modric, is now 32. He too must be replaced.
Over in Barcelona, Philippe Coutinho has arrived as a long-term successor to Andreas Iniesta. So it’s clear Madrid’s rivals are planning ahead.
They must do likewise, but will it with or without Zidane?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing