Zidane matches Villalonga with unique double

Zinédine Zidane has become only the second coach to win the European Cup in his first two seasons in management, matching José Villalonga who took Real Madrid to an inaugural pair of titles.

Zinédine Zidane with the trophy once again
Zinédine Zidane with the trophy once again ©AFP/Getty Images

Zinédine Zidane has become only the second coach to win the European Cup in his first two seasons in management, matching a record that had been set in the inaugural pair of years in the competition's history.

Zidane had assisted Carlo Ancelotti at Madrid and also coached Real Madrid's B team before being promoted following Rafael Benítez's departure in January 2016. By the end of that season Madrid were celebrating UEFA Champions League success in Milan and they have now repeated the trick in Cardiff.

That initial victory last May made Zidane just the seventh coach to lift the European Cup in his opening managerial season. Yet only once before, back in 1957, had anyone done so in his first two full years – though, strictly speaking, unlike Zidane, Real Madrid's José Villalonga had a head start ...

1956 & 1957: José Villalonga (Real Madrid)
Appropriately, the first European Cup was won by a coach in his first full campaign. 'Pepe' Villalonga had actually been appointed to the helm in the middle of 1954/55, winning the league, and the next season he masterminded victory in the new continental competition. He repeated the trick the following year before crossing the city to Atlético, beating Real in two Copa finals and claiming the 1962 European Cup Winners' Cup. Next for Villalonga was the Spain job, culminating in 1964 UEFA European Championship glory. From 1967 Villalonga ran Spain's national coaching school before his death in 1973 at the age of 53.

  • OTHER DEBUT SEASON WINNERS

1960: Miguel Muñoz (Real Madrid)
The captain of Villalonga's pioneering winners in 1956 and 1957 before retiring as a player, Muñoz took charge ahead of the 1959/60 semi-finals having, like Zidane later, coached the club's reserves. Madrid had won the first four European Cups and under Muñoz made it five in stunning style, knocking out Barcelona with 3-1 wins both home and away then defeating Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 in a famous final in Glasgow in front of 127,621 spectators. By the time Muñoz left Madrid in 1974, they had won another European Cup in 1966 and nine Liga titles; he was later to coach Granada, Las Palmas, Sevilla and Spain, reaching the EURO '84 final. He died in 1990.

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1982: Tony Barton (Aston Villa)
A former winger with Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Portsmouth in the 1950s and 1960s, Barton was on the coaching staff at English champions Aston Villa when Ron Saunders resigned in February 1982. Already in the quarter-finals on their first European Cup appearance, Barton guided Villa past Dynamo Kyiv and Anderlecht without conceding a goal to set up a final with Bayern München in Rotterdam. After just ten minutes goalkeeper Jimmy Rimmer was injured, but Barton sent Nigel Spink on for only his second first-team appearance and he performed heroics as Peter Withe's goal proved enough for a 1-0 victory. Barton remained as Villa manager until 1984 but after that had just brief spells in charge of Northampton Town and Portsmouth before his death in 1993.

1984: Joe Fagan (Liverpool)
Fagan was hardly a managerial neophyte when, aged 62, he was appointed successor to three-time European Cup winner Bob Paisley at Liverpool in 1983. He had been part of the Anfield 'boot room' since 1958 (a year before Bill Shankly's arrival) and had previously been assistant manager at Rochdale and player-boss of non-league Nelson, where he won the Lancashire Combination in his first season while working in a gas meter factory. Nevertheless it was the modest Fagan's first season as a senior full-time manager in 1983/84, and he led Liverpool to victory in the League, League Cup and European Cup, beating Roma in the Stadio Olimpico on penalties. Fagan also took Liverpool to the ill-fated 1985 final in Brussels before retiring, though he remained a guru for later Anfield bosses. He died in 2001, not long after Liverpool's first European success since Fagan stepped down.

1988: Guus Hiddink (PSV Eindhoven)
Still coaching in the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea last season, Hiddink's first appointment was at PSV in March 1987, having previously assisted Hans Kraay, who resigned after a dispute with the club's board. PSV were on their way to a second straight Eredivisie title and then, in his first full season at the helm, Hiddink took PSV to the European Cup final in Stuttgart and a penalty shoot-out win against Benfica, allowing the Eindhoven club to emulate the continental success of Ajax and Feyenoord. Hiddink may not have won another European trophy to date, but his achievements with the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, the Netherlands, South Korea and Russia, as well as PSV, have made him one of the world's foremost coaches in the last three decades.

2000: Vicente del Bosque (Real Madrid)
The first 'new' coach to win the cup in the UEFA Champions League era, Del Bosque was, like Barton and Fagan before him, far from a managerial novice. A five-time Liga winner with Madrid as a player, Del Bosque had been on the staff for some years at the club, including a caretaker spell as first-team coach in 1994, before he succeeded John Toshack full-time in November 1999. Madrid were already through the UEFA Champions League first group stage and Del Bosque took them all the way to victory in Paris against Valencia and the following season managed a Liga triumph before a Zidane-enhanced UEFA Champions League repeat success in 2001/02. Del Bosque also proved a dab hand at national-team level with Spain's victories at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2012.

2009: Josep Guardiola (Barcelona)
Fifty-three years on from Pepe Villalonga's first Madrid success, Pep Guardiola was a similarly immediate success for Barcelona. A European Cup-winning player for the club in 1992, Guardiola was appointed to lead Barcelona B a year after his 2006 playing retirement. Just 11 months later, he succeeded Frank Rijkaard in charge of the first team and made several changes to the line-up, including bringing in the likes of Dani Alves and Gerard Piqué while promoting Sergio Busquets and Pedro Rodríguez from his reserves. Guardiola had a brilliant debut season, winning the domestic double and the UEFA Champions League with a 2-0 defeat of Manchester United in Rome. Another success, against the same team at Wembley, followed in 2011, but he is yet to repeat the trick with Bayern or Manchester City.

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