Isco: Zidane can lead Real Madrid to victory again

Real Madrid midfielder Isco paid tribute to head coach Zinedine Zidane for returning despite the Spanish giants facing "tough" times.

Zidane cemented his Madrid legacy during a glittering 28-month reign that began in January 2016 and saw him lift three Champions League titles and a La Liga crown.

The Frenchman sensationally walked away from the Santiago Bernabeu in May 2018 and president Florentino Perez has since sacked two head coaches in nine months during an underwhelming season.

The Champions League holders were humiliated 4-1 at home against Ajax to end their bid for a fourth straight European title, and they have fallen 12 points off the pace in LaLiga. Zidane begins his second spell as coach on Saturday against Celta Vigo.

With Zidane already established as an icon in Madrid, Isco believes the 46-year-old deserves even more recognition for pledging to rebuild the golden empire which has collapsed in his absence.

"We all know him," Isco said.

"As a player he was amazing, as a coach he has won everything.

"It is fantastic for everyone to have him back at Real Madrid. And all the credit for him being back now, when time is tough.

Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid

"He loves Real Madrid and hopefully he will lead us again to victory."

Isco has gone through a difficult time at Madrid since Zidane's departure. Although he featured regularly during the short reign of the Frenchman's successor Julen Lopetegui, the Spain international's involvement dropped when Santiago Solari took over.

Solari suggested Isco needed to work harder in training  last month and then criticised the midfielder's fitness just days before he was relieved of his duties.

Following his early-season injury problems and omissions under Solari, he has been limited to just 16 appearances in La Liga and four in the Champions League this term.