Few players have had an impact on a club the way Johan Cruyff revolutionised Barcelona.
Not only did he lay the foundations for 'tiki-taka' football, he also influenced Pep Guardiola, Ronald Koeman, Hristo Stoichkov and Michael Laudrup, to name just a few of his players that went on to forge successful managerial careers in his ilk.
Whilst it is currently somewhat of a leap of faith to suggest Zinedine Zidane can have a similar impact at the Bernabeu, it is by no means out of the question.
On the playing side, both broke transfer fee records. Cruyff cost Barça around €2 million in 1973, whilst Zidane cost Real Madrid €75 million 28 years later.
The pair took contrasting routes after joining Barcelona and Real Madrid, although both were major successes in La Liga.
Cruyff played in NASL as well as a short spell in the Segunda Divisíon at Levante, before finishing his career in Holland with Ajax and Feyenoord. Zidane, meanwhile, retired after his five year spell with Los Blancos came to an end in 2006.
In terms of coaching, the two are incomparable. Cruyff left lasting legacies at both Ajax and Barcelona and both teams are heavily indebted to his radical approach. The 'tiki-taka' style his tactics became synonymous with is still evident in the way both Barcelona and Spain - two of the greatest sides ever - conduct themselves on the pitch.
This is not to say Zidane cannot have a similar impact at Real Madrid. His coaching career has been short to date, starting out as an adviser to Jose Mourinho before switching to a sporting director role and finally, in 2013, taking up his current position as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant.
This last move was surely with a view to the Frenchman being nurtured as Ancelotti's successor when the Italian departs the Bernabeu.
If Zidane is able to transfer the elegance and poise that made him such a special player into management, the same way Cruyff did at Barcelona, then there is every chance Zidane can have a lasting impact as Los Merengues manager.
This is not a certainty, though as often gifted footballers find it hard to transfer the necessary skills required into management.
Can Zidane have a similar impact as Cruyff did at Barcelona? It is difficult to say without the Frenchman experiencing the glare of management. However, the potential is definitely there, as Bordeaux and Monaco have already noticed.
Bordeaux have reportedly given up their pursuit of Zidane. He would seem destined for the Madrid job but so often in football, and particularly at a top side like Real Madrid, the picture is quick to change.
The prospect of Zidane impacting on Madrid akin to Cruyff is compelling if nothing else and in 20 years time we could be looking to the likes of Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso as successful coaches, all influenced by Zidane's metamorphosis of the Madrid style.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: https://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms