Zinedine Zidane still leaves me ‘open mouthed,’ claims Alvaro Arbeloa

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Football News

Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa has admitted that he is still struggling to come to terms that Zinedine Zidane is his manager at the Bernabeu.

Zidane took over from Rafa Benitez in January and his side have scored an impressive 23 goals during his six matches in all competitions so far - remaining unbeaten.

But Arbeloa has admitted that he is still left starstruck by the Frenchman - who was his idol when he was growing up.

When I look at him sometimes I am left open-mouthed because he's a special player and I have to tell myself that now it's normal," he told Real Madrid’s official website.

"He's my coach and I think that that's positive. I feel privileged to be playing here, in the best team in the world, and in a city like Madrid. I feel at home here.

"Zidane was my idol when I was a kid. A few years ago, he was a team-mate and now he's my coach. He trains alongside us and we want to learn from him."

Arbeloa added: ”He's the perfect coach for Real Madrid."

Arbeloa's career

The Spanish right-back re-joined Los Blancos from Liverpool in July 2009 after leaving them for Deportivo back in 2006.

He has gone on to make 269 appearances for the Spanish giants in all competitions but has found it difficult to earn a starting role for Madrid this season, falling behind Danilo and Dani Carvajal in the right-back pecking order.

Trophyless first season?

Zidane has a tough job on his hands to bring immediate success to the Bernabeu this campaign. Madrid are currently one point behind rivals Atletico Madrid in the league whilst they are four adrift of Barcelona having played an extra match.

Zidane is also picking up the pieces of Madrid’s embarrassing Copa del Rey expulsion. The club fielded Denis Cheryshev against Cadiz - who was ineligible - meaning they were kicked out of the competition.

Therefore, Zidane’s only realistic chance of winning a trophy in his first season comes in the form of the Champions League where Madrid take on Roma in the last-16 on Wednesday night.

Zidane's Madrid career

The 43-year-old had an incredible playing career for Madrid, starring for five seasons in the Spanish capital. He only won one La Liga in that time but scored an outrageous volley in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen which turned out to be the winning goal in a 2-1 victory.

Fourteen years on, he will hope to inspire the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and co. to their 11th European Cup trophy.

Can Zinedine Zidane lead Real Madrid to Champions League glory this season? Let us know in the comments box below!

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Cristiano Ronaldo
UEFA Champions League
La Liga
Real Madrid
Zinedine Zidane

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