Real Madrid has formally announced the appointment of Zinedine Zidane as coach of the club’s first team coach to replace Santiago Solari.
In a statement the Spanish giants said: ” The Board of Directors of Real Madrid, meeting today, Monday, March 11, 2019, has decided to terminate the contract that linked Santiago Solari with the club as coach of the first team and, at the same time, Real Madrid has offered to continue to belong to the club.”
“Real Madrid appreciates the work done by Santiago Solari and the commitment and loyalty he has always shown to this house. The Board of Directors has also agreed the appointment of Zinedine Zidane as the new coach of Real Madrid with immediate incorporation for the remainder of the season and the next three, until June 30, 2022,” it added.
The president of Real Madrid Florentino Pérez was set to unveil appear Zidane, a former coach, last evening at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
? Look who’s back to inspire Real Madrid again…
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 11, 2019
Zidane, 46, left in May last year after leading the club to a third straight Champions League trophy.
Solari was sacked despite a 4-1 win over Real Valladolid on Sunday – which followed a shock Champions League exit to Ajax.
That 4-1 home defeat and 5-3 aggregate loss to the Dutch side was the final straw for Real president Florentino Perez.
The defeat by Ajax followed two consecutive losses to Barcelona in El Clasico – a 1-0 reverse in La Liga and a 4-1 aggregate defeat in the Copa del Rey.
Zidane stepped down following the Champions League final victory over Liverpool, and Julen Lopetegui was hired as his successor just before the World Cup where he had been due to lead Spain, who promptly sacked him.
Four and a half months later it was Real’s turn to fire him. Reserve-team boss Solari came in as caretaker before being given a contract to 2021 on 13 November last year.
Following the Ajax defeat former club president Ramon Calderon had said Zidane had already rejected the chance to return to Real Madrid but had left the door open for a return this summer.
– Additional reporting by BBC