Carlo Ancelotti believes Zinedine Zidane could take over from Rafael Benitez as Real Madrid head coach as early as “today” if required.
Zidane is the current favourite to replace Benitez, who was handed a vote of confidence yesterday following Saturday’s humiliating 4-0 defeat to fierce rivals Barcelona, and Ancelotti has the utmost confidence that the retired French midfielder will succeed in management.
Zidane is gaining valuable experience as the manager of Real Madrid Castilla and also worked alongside Ancelotti as the Italian coach’s assistant at the Bernabeu between 2013-14.
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"Zidane has a fantastic CV as a player and he's in the process of getting good experience as a coach," Ancelotti told French radio station RMC, according to ESPN. "He has all the qualities to be a fantastic coach -- charisma, personality, experience.
"In the future he will perhaps be the manager of Real and another team.
"But I'm sure that he'll succeed as a manager.
"Does he have the ability to do it from today? I think so. I'm even certain of it."
Ancelotti: Stars listen to Zidane
Ancelotti also revealed that when Zidane speaks, Real Madrid’s stars listen.
The 43-year-old, who retired in 2006, is considered by many as one of the game’s all-time greats - and it’s clear the Real Madrid players have a huge amount of respect for him.
"When I arrived at the club he helped me a lot," Ancelotti added. "He has a very good relationship with Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane. He knows the atmosphere of the club very well and it was very important for me to work with him for a year.
"I think he can really be a great coach in the future. He has a lot of charisma and personality, a fantastic career [behind him] and the players listen when Zidane speaks.
"He has a great relationship with them."
Zidane does not feel ready for Real Madrid job
Zidane appears to be travelling a similar path to that of Pep Guardiola, who coached Barcelona ‘B’ for a season before replacing Frank Rijkaard at the Camp Nou in 2008.
In order to appoint him as the club’s new manager, however, Florentino Perez will need to convince the ex-midfielder - Zidane recently told reporters that he does not feel ready to become the manager of Real Madrid’s first team.
"I am the manager of Castilla, Benitez is the manager of the first team, and things are fine like that," he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "I have a long way to go, and, anyway, a manager is never really fully formed.
"What I am doing, as I did when I was a player, I am doing bit by bit. I am not in a hurry for anything. My current job is Castilla and I am going to continue with it."
Real Madrid fans: should Zinedine Zidane replace Rafael Benitez? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!