On Sunday, Zinedine Zidane reported another chapter in Real Madrid’s history books as he became just the third Los Blancos manager to take over 200 matches or more in all competitions.
Real Madrid beat Eibar 3-1 in their first competitive match at Alfredo di Stefano Stadium on Sunday following the three-month break from La Liga due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Toni Kroos got Real off to an ideal start at an empty stadium based on their training ground by scoring in the fourth minute.
Real made the interval easier and Eibar forward Sergi Enrich struck the woodwork before Pedro Bigas pulled a goal back on the hour mark for the visiting side.
Real coach Zinedine Zidane, who had reached the landmark of supervising 200 games each, used all five of his replacements as his players continued to tire.
The win has kept Real on the heels of Barcelona’s La Liga leaders with 59 points after 28 games. They are two points behind Barca on Saturday after the Catalans defeated Real Mallorca 4-0.
With the revamping of Real’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, Zidane ‘s men restarted the campaign at Di Stefano’s 6,000-capacity stadium, where their reserve side plays.
Real are normally welcomed by a throng of supporters as their bus arrives at the Bernabeu, but on Sunday they faced a much more pleasant journey as they walked 300 meters from their residence to the stadium at the training ground.
Germany’s midfielder Kroos put his side at ease with a powerful first-time shot that fizzed into the far top corner while Ramos hit the second by knocking an Eden Hazard pass into the net to complete a sweeping counterattack.
Brazilian left Marcelo then extended the scoreline with a deadly finish to the bottom corner and celebrated by kneeling and raising his right hand, an obvious homage to the Black Lives Matter campaign taking place around the world. Atletico Madrid drew 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao elsewhere, losing the chance to capitalize on slip-ups by their rivals in the Champions League.
Former Spain boss Del Bosque is second on Real’s all-time list, taking charge of 246 matches over three spells from March 1994 to June 2003.
Although Zidane may have expectations in the ranks to reach Del Bosque, he has some way to meet the successes of Munoz, who handled 605 Real games between 1959 and 1974, helping the club secure nine titles for La Liga and two European Cups.