Former president Ramon Calderon believes “dressing room leaders” were behind Real Madrid’s decision to overlook Jose Mourinho in favour of Zinedine Zidane.
Just nine months after leaving the Santiago Bernabeu, Zidane completed a shock return to Real on Monday evening for a second spell in charge of his beloved club.
Naturally, the Frenchman’s reappointment has been enthusiastically greeted by the fans and players as Los Blancos look to overturn their fortunes in what has been a dreadful campaign by their usual high standards.
At one point though, it seemed that it would be Mourinho making the return to Real after Calderon announced last week that the Portuguese coach was president Florentino Perez’s preferred option to replace Santiago Solari.
But now the 67-year-old Spaniard believes that “dressing room leaders” ensured that the problematic Mourinho wouldn’t be making any return for a second stint in charge.
“The dressing room leaders pushed to reject the possibility of Jose Mourinho,” Calderon told Sky Sports.
“He left [Real Madrid] a lot of problems and I think he would have been another problem to the ones we already have if he had come.
“I think Jose Mourinho would have been a step backwards, there was a lot of problems and controversy when he was here.
“He is a good coach with a lot of trophies but many of the leaders in the dressing room didn’t like him and I think that was important in the decision-making.”
On Zidane’s return, Calderon added: “The players loved him and he was able to change the ideas of coaches like Rafael Benitez and Jose Mourinho who managed with a strong hand.
“And of course he is an idol with the fans – playing for the club as well as managing them to three Champions League trophies in a row.”
Mourinho coached Real Madrid between 2010 to 2013 and won a La Liga title, Copa del Rey and the Supercopa de España before returning to Chelsea.
Upon leaving Manchester United in December, the 56-year-old has been linked with a number of high-profile roles and announced plans to return to management this summer.