Celebrity Madridista Rafael Nadal paid tribute to Zinedine Zidane — who shocked the football world on Thursday by announcing he has resigned as Real Madrid coach — and hopes the Frenchman returns to the Spanish club in the future.
The Spanish world No. 1 admits that, like the rest of the world, he did not expect Thursday’s sudden news of Zidane’s departure.
“Of course was a surprise for everybody, no? But at the same time, Zidane is a top person. He’s a person that is tough to accept that he’s leaving for different things, different reasons. First thing because he’s a great coach and he was having a lot of success with our team,” Nadal told reporters following his straight-sets win over Guido Pella in the French Open second round on Thursday.
Zidane led Los Blancos to three consecutive Champions League titles during his short two-and-a-half-year tenure as manager, along with six more trophies.
Nadal received his first of 10 Roland Garros trophies from Zidane on Court Philippe Chatrier back in 2005.
“Second thing, he’s a good person, normal person, humble person,” Nadal continued.
“He represents, in my opinion, the right values, and he’s a perfect example how somebody with a lot of success have to do the things of every day with being normal, being humble without saying negative things about the players, about the club, about nobody. Never, I never heard, referees, nothing.
“He was always fine and smiling on the press conference. Even when the things were not going well this year, that was so difficult moments. At the end of the year, he won the Champions League and nothing happens, but during the year has been a very tough year during the year for the team.
“He always have been positive and believing on the players and on the club. He deserve to choose what’s better for him. For my side, I just can say thanks for all the things that he did for Madrid. I hope will be back.
“And like sportsman and person, just thanks for the right examples that he gave to the rest of the people.”
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