Today is Zinedine Zidane’s 45th birthday, but it is fair to say he probably did not get a gift as good as his last 12 months in management.
In his prime, the Frenchman was one of the very best players in the world and will go down as one of the best midfielders to ever play the game, but there are never any guarantees that a top player will translate to a top manager.
Still, after honing his craft with Madrid’s reserve side, Castilla, Zidane has won the Champions League twice in his first two seasons at the helm and he brought the La Liga title back to the Bernabeu this summer after five long seasons without it.
Another player who wasn’t bad was former Barcelona star Ronaldinho.
The 2005 Ballon d’Or winner was at the height of his powers during his time at the Nou Camp and is fondly remembered by fans as one of the most enjoyable players to watch ever – period.