The most iconic managerial moments of Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane

Not many great players go on to achieve great things as a coach as well, but Zinedine Zidane has certainly made his managerial mark.

Zinedine Zidane is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. An elite playmaker in his prime for Bordeaux, Juventus and Real Madrid, the Frenchman is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest managers of all time too.

He has won numerous trophies over the course of his two spells in charge of Real, and to celebrate Zidane's achievements in the game, Planet Sport looks at his most iconic moments.

Coaching Real Madrid Castilla

Zidane ended his playing days at Real Madrid and took on various roles behind the scenes between 2010 and 2014, including special advisor, sporting director, and assistant coach.

At the start of the 2014/15 season he was appointed head coach of Castilla, Real Madrid's reserve side, and spent 18 months in the job.

With Castilla, Zidane was able to work with a string of players who would play under him in the first team, including Mariano Diaz, Marcos Llorente and Martin Odegaard.

Bigger things awaited him down the line, though. After Rafa Benitez's dismissal as first team manager in January 2016, Zinedine Zidane was confirmed as his replacement the same day.

It was time to show what he could do in charge of one of the world's soccer superpowers.

Managing Real Madrid's first team

With Zidane taking charge halfway through the 2015/16 season, there was still plenty to play for and it didn't take long to make his mark on the team.

Although Real finished just a point behind winners Barcelona in La Liga, Zidane's team only dropped nine points after his appointment, including a 12-game winning streak from March onwards.

Zidane ended his first half-season in senior management by winning his first Champions League courtesy of a penalty shootout win over local rivals Atletico Madrid in the final.

Their European success meant qualification for the Super Cup and Club World Cup (CWC), both of which Real also won, defeating Sevilla and Kashima Antlers respectively. Zidane had certainly set expectations sky high after a near perfect 12 months.

Consecutive Champions Leagues

Winning that first Champions League set the ball rolling for Zidane and his players, and in his first full season in the Bernabeu hotseat Real Madrid won the competition again.

They won it in style as well. Over the course of two legs, six goals were put past Napoli and Bayern Munich. They followed it with a 4-2 victory over Atletico in the semis and a 4-1 final defeat of Juventus. Their dominance continued in the subsequent Super Cup and CWC.

The following season Real added a record 13th Champions League title, although they weren't anywhere near as convincing.

Zidane's team scraped past Juventus and Bayern Munich, before Loris Karius' concussion-aided errors gifted Real a win in the final (not to take anything away from Gareth Bale's sublime overhead kick for the second goal).

Zidane stepped away from the job at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, stating the club's "need for change" as his main reason.

Returning to Real

Zidane was replaced by Julen Lopetegui, whose spell in charge lasted a matter of months before Santiago Solari tried his luck in the role. He didn't last long either and 10 months after initially leaving the job, Zidane returned to the club he had enjoyed so much success at.

Unaffected by the struggles of the previous head coaches, Zidane carried on picking up trophies.

His team won the 2019/20 La Liga - the second of his career - and the Supercopa de Espana.

Tactics and philosophy

Zidane has faced considerable criticism over the course of his managerial career for not having a distinct way of playing. Experts have said that a primary reason for Zidane's success isn't necessarily his tactics, but instead his social skills.

He has an ability to unite a dressing room and display great leadership skills to create a winning environment around the club.

During 90 minutes, though, Zidane is known for his tactical flexibility, using 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 and 3-5-2 formations. He also has a knack for making the right substitutions at the right time. Whatever the secret behind his success is, it has worked so far.

Individual honours and records

As any manager who has won numerous trophies with Real Madrid would do, Zidane has received an incredible number of accolades. Most of them comprise different variations of Manager/Coach of the Year/Season.

He also holds a lot of individual records, including: manager with the joint-most Champions League trophies (three), the most Best FIFA Football Coach awards (three), and longest unbeaten run in Spanish soccer history (40).

At just 49-years-old and with only six years' experience coaching at senior level, Zidane had already etched his name into the history books.

It will be interesting to see how he fares at a club that isn't Real Madrid, somewhere outside of his comfort zone, if he is to ever manage elsewhere.

For now, though, Zidane is the man that brought some glory days back to the Bernabeu and for that, as well as his hugely successful playing career, he is one of soccer's modern-day icons.