Barcelona full-back Jordi Alba revealed his shock at Zinedine Zidane's return to LaLiga rivals Real Madrid so soon after walking away from the club.
Zidane surprisingly stepped down as Madrid head coach after guiding the Spanish giants to a third consecutive Champions League title last season.
However, Zidane was re-appointed on Monday following Santiago Solari's sacking after Madrid's European rout at the hands of Ajax and with the team 12 points behind Barca in LaLiga.
Asked about Zidane's return after Barca crushed Lyon 5-1 to reach the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday, Alba was surprised.
ZIDANE IS BACK. #RealMadrid | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/QTaEzX34aj— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) March 12, 2019
"Real Madrid went out being the favourite in theory," Alba told said in the mixed zone on Spanish radio.
"But Ajax were better in the two matches and deserved to beat them.
"I was surprised by the return of Zidane to Real Madrid. It's not normal for a coach to return after nine months."
While Zidane's teams dominated in Europe, the 46-year-old head coach could only guide Madrid to one domestic title in his tenure.
Barcelona lifted the LaLiga trophy three times in that period, an accomplishment which Alba believes Ernesto Valverde's side are not given credit for.
"What Barcelona do is given little value in some parts of Spain," he added.
"I don't think that everybody fails to value us, but in a bad season you all know that they'd have given it to us from all sides.
"I think they don't give us all the credit that is deserved. I'm not just talking about this year, but about all years."