Florentino Perez’s Search for Real Madrid’s Next Manager: Contenders for the Hotseat at Santiago Bernabeu
As Carlo Ancelotti prepares to depart Real Madrid to assume the role of Brazil’s national team coach, Florentino Perez is faced with the task of finding a suitable replacement.
With the 2024 season in mind, several contenders have emerged as potential candidates for the coveted managerial position at Santiago Bernabeu.
Julian Nagelsmann: The Innovative Young Coach
German tactician Julian Nagelsmann has been linked with Real Madrid since his unexpected departure from Bayern Munich in March.
Regarded as one of the most innovative young coaches in the game, Nagelsmann’s name has also been associated with clubs like Chelsea, Tottenham, and Napoli.
However, it remains uncertain whether he would be willing to wait another year for the Real Madrid job to become available, given his eagerness to continue his coaching career.
Antonio Conte: The Fiery Italian
Antonio Conte was previously a serious contender for the Bernabeu position in 2018. However, his potential appointment was met with opposition from then-captain Sergio Ramos.
While the dynamics have changed since then, it is unclear whether the combustible Conte is the right fit for a club that grants its superstars a level of freedom and influence that may not align with his style.
It is more likely that Conte would accept an offer from a team offering him greater control before Ancelotti’s departure.
Jose Mourinho: The Controversial Figure
Known as “The Special One,” Jose Mourinho’s return to the Bernabeu would undoubtedly generate excitement and controversy.
Having previously led Real Madrid, Mourinho’s tenure brought intense rivalry between Madrid and Barcelona players.
However, his aggressive and abrasive nature, as well as the potential for drama, may make his reappointment a debatable choice for Perez.
Alvaro Arbeloa: The Rising Star
Though a surprise inclusion on this list, former Real Madrid full-back Alvaro Arbeloa is highly regarded within the club.
Having transitioned from a player to a youth-team coach, Arbeloa is touted as a future manager of the first team.
However, it is unlikely that Perez would turn to Arbeloa at this stage, as there is another internal candidate ahead of him in the pecking order.
Zinedine Zidane: The Legend’s Return?
Could Zinedine Zidane, one of football’s greatest players, make a return for a third spell as Real Madrid manager?
While unexpected, Zidane’s itchy feet and desire to continue coaching suggest that he may be open to the idea.
However, recent speculation leans towards Zidane potentially replacing Massimiliano Allegri at Juventus rather than succeeding Ancelotti at Madrid.
Xabi Alonso and Raul: Familiar Faces
Xabi Alonso, a former player and current manager of Bayer Leverkusen, has emerged as the frontrunner for the Real Madrid job.
With experience coaching Real Sociedad’s B team and achieving success in the Bundesliga, Alonso’s familiarity with the club and his availability next summer make him a popular choice.
Similarly, Raul, a legendary figure in Madrid’s history, has transitioned into coaching after starting in the club’s youth sector.
Although he lacks senior-level coaching experience, Raul’s deep understanding of the club and its dynamics could make him an appealing, low-risk option for Perez.