ZINEDINE Zidane will have to resign as Real Madrid coach because he will never be sacked, former president Ramon Calderon claims.
Zizou is looking to win his third consecutive Champions League title since taking the reins at the Bernabeu in 2016, but he faces increasing pressure on the home front.
Zidane was the first manager to successfully defend the Champions LeagueEPA
Real, up against Bayern Munich in the first leg of their semi-final tonight, are third in La Liga and 15 points behind rivals Barcelona.
But while the white handkerchiefs may be at the ready if Real are eliminated, Calderon told SunSport: “Zidane will leave the club when he decides.
“He wasn’t willing to be a coach. It was an accident when [Rafael] Benitez was sacked in the middle of the season.
“I don’t think he wanted to be a coach when he was a player. He accepted the position and was very brave and very successful, and that is why I don’t think the president will ever sack him.
“If he is not there next year, it is because he decides to leave.”
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However, no manager in the last 30 years has finished a season trophyless at the Bernabeu and remained in his seat.
Calderon looked even further back in history.
He said: “In the last 48 years, only one coach has been on that bench for more than three years. That was [Vincente] Del Bosque.
“We have very demanding fans and members and we are used to getting titles so we always need a trophy, but you cannot always get it. For coaches, it’s a difficult bench to be on.”
Sliding so far behind Barcelona in La Liga has turned the temperature up on Zidane, but Calderon believes the fault should not be laid at the manager’s door.
Jupp Heynckes, the Bayern coach, can make sure Real finish the season trophylessAFP or licensors
He said: “That is humiliating for us to have such a difference in points.
“There have been many problems with the players knowing they have won everything and they can relax, and there were some injuries. I don’t think Zidane is the one to blame.”
The French coach can ease the pressure on himself by guiding Madrid past Bayern and towards the final in Kiev on May 26.
Calderon, Real president from 2006 through 2009, believes they go into the game as favourites.
He said: “As always, when a German team is playing it is not easy for any rival.
“I think in theory, on paper, we are favourites but, as I always say, the matches are played on grass so let’s see what is going to happen.”
Progress for Real, he says, relies heavily on the team’s talisman.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored a remarkable 22 goals in his last 12 games and Calderon says he is peaking at the perfect moment for Madrid.
Ronaldo has scored 46 goals in 43 games this seasonGetty – Contributor
He said: “It’s very important that Cristiano is playing very well, that he’s fit, that he’s in the best moment of the season is very important for us.
“Bale and Benzema are not in the best form but we have other players.
“It’s a good moment for Real Madrid to play this match.”
But the prospect of not progressing to the final after the second leg in Madrid on Tuesday would draw a dark cloud over the Bernabeu.
Calderon said: “It would be a clear failure.
“I’m sure for Rome, Liverpool and Bayern Munich it is already a success to be in the semi-final, but not for us.
“It’s clear we think not getting any trophy is a failure, and the fans will feel that no doubt.”
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