Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has said coach Zinedine Zidane’s rotation policy has helped put the team “on a dominant path.”
Modric, who said he had been sceptical about the approach at first, said Zidane had managed to keep all his players happy as Madrid won both La Liga and the Champions League.
The Croatia international said in quotes translated by AS: “He has done great things since he arrived. He made sure we were a team, that we all contributed.
“Honestly, I was a bit sceptical that he could satisfy the needs of all the players, but he has done that with everyone.”
Zidane left out stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and backed youngsters such as Marco Asensio, shuffling his pack as Madrid won their first domestic championship in five years and became the first team to retain the Champions League.
“We have a young team — Ronaldo, [Sergio] Ramos, [Keylor] Navas and I are 31 or 32, but there are some 10 years younger, so Madrid can remain on this dominant path,” Modric said.
He described Ronaldo, who scored twice in the Champions League final win over Juventus, as “a machine with the hunger he has.”
“Nobody can doubt that he is the best in the world at the moment,” he added. “When Madrid play like this, nobody can stop us.”
Ex-France midfielder Robert Pires told Le Parisien that after less than 18 months as a senior coach, former teammate Zidane had shown himself to be the best.
“It is phenomenal what Zidane has done,” former Arsenal winger Pires said. “He has done what nobody could do in Champions League history.
“It is hard to compare what he has done with anybody else. [Jose] Mourinho and [Rafa] Benitez have not done better with the same resources [at Madrid].
“He was born to be the best player in the world, and he was. He was also born to be the best coach in the world, and today he is.”