The second era of Zinedine Zidane began on Wednesday morning when he took Real Madrid training for the first time since his return as coach.
Zidane got to work at Valdebebas, the scene of his shock resignation announcement on 31 May last year having guided Los Blancos to their third straight Champions League triumph.
Arriving at the training ground before any of his backroom staff and players, Zidane was there two hours before the session began.
Before training started, the coach gave a clear and concise speech to the Real Madrid squad and coaching staff that outlined the next steps for the team.
With the Frenchman back at the helm, Real Madrid can forget the past. Forget Julen Lopetegui, Santiago Solari and the disastrous week they recently endured. Those who have been going through difficult times, like Isco and Marcelo, now have a clean slate and will have the chance to prove themselves in training and matches.
Real Madrid have three months of LaLiga Santander action to lay the foundations for next season and make sure they meet the minimum of qualifying for next year’s Champions League. The majority of the players have greeted the return of Zidane with a fair amount of relief after the struggles of this season.
There are exceptions, but most players feel comfortable with a charismatic and motivational character in charge once more.
The leaders of the squad, such as Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema, are fully behind the new head coach as they begin his second coming.