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The other side of Zidane as a manager

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There are certain managers like Pep Guardiola or Marcelo Bielsa who are enormously recognized for their ability to develop innovative strategies and tactics that stand out from the typical approaches of current football. On the other hand, there are other managers whose man-management of the group of football players stands out, leaving a bit aside their tactical ability, such as Carlo Ancelotti or the protagonist of today’s article, Zinedine Zidane.

Precisely, the French manager yesterday made some tactical changes, forced in part by the number of casualties due to injury, which turned out quite well considering the victory of Real Madrid CF against Getafe CF.

Normally, Zidane uses a 4-3-3 where full backs usually bomb forward, Casemiro is the defensive midfielder with his main responsibilities focused on recovering the ball although, depending on the development of the game, he can be added as an alternative in attack, mainly in the aerial game, this due to the support he has from Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.

The German is the one who usually starts the plays and mostly maintains his position in the middle of the midfield with a tendency to play to the left of the midfield while the Croatian is the one who usually frees himself the most and is the one who has the greatest responsibility in terms of creative output. In attack, Karim Benzema, essential in this scheme, has freedom of movement and is usually accompanied by two inside fowards, one for each wing, who can face the center and open spaces for full backs.

Yesterday, Zidane’s approach was a 3-4-3, with Nacho, Varane and Mendy in the back three with Marcelo and Marvin Park as the wing backs. Park is a young player from the Real Madrid youth teams whose most regular position is as winger. However, yesterday he demonstrated a commitment to the defensive responsibilities of the position he held. Marcelo, on his part, was favored since his main shortcomings are in defense and with this scheme, Mendy can support him.

In the midfield, Casemiro and Modric played, with the Croatian helping more in the recovery than in the creative phase. Vinicius played left inside foward while Asensio was more of an attacking midfielder who tried to serve as a link between the midfield and Benzema. The Frenchman kept his usual movements.

This strategy allowed Real Madrid CF to play wider with the intention of creating spaces against a team characterized by being very good defensively and maintaining solidity with a low block operation. It is possible that, once the injured players return, Zidane will return to his classic 4-3-3, however, this approach could become a very valid alternative for future games and could be a reference of the tactical capacity of the French manager and allow this aspect to be highlighted a bit more in other managers with a similar profile to his.

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