Zinedine Zidane admitted he had received various offers to return to football since leaving Real Madrid last summer, but said the offer to ‘come home’ was too good to turn down.
The 46-year-old also vowed to do things better – in the league at least – than he did before.
Speaking in his first press conference since signing a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2022 he said: ‘When I went it was the right time to leave. I have had various offers since then but I wanted to stay here in Madrid. My first reaction when the president called me was to come back. Here I am.’
TROPHIES WON BY ZIDANE AS MANAGER OF REAL MADRID
La Liga: 2016–17
Supercopa de Espana: 2017
UEFA Champions League: 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
UEFA Super Cup: 2016, 2017
Privately Zidane was unhappy about plans to sell Cristiano Ronaldo last summer.
Asked about the Juventus striker he said: ‘Everyone knows what Cristiano is. He is one of the greatest and part of the history of this club but we have 11 games left to focus on.’
Asked if he felt returning was a risk he tapped his chest and said: ‘I’m not thinking about that. My heart says that I have rested and the president calls me and I wanted to come and that’s it. The desire I have is what has brought me here.’
He will work with the same staff as last season with Antonio Pintus – already at the club as fitness coach – staying put to work with him.
He batted away questions over who would be staying and would be going at the end of the season but when asked about the various problems he will inherit with Gareth Bale, Isco and Marcelo all having had their falling-outs with team-mates and supporters this season.