Who should be the next manager of Real Madrid, and why is the answer Antonio Conte?
Seeing a former manager depart normally isn’t easy, especially when they’ve been as successful as Zinedine Zidane. The French legend made his mark for the club not only as a player, when he won La Liga and the Champions League, but also as a manager, making history and managing the squad to the first three-peat in Champions League history, in addition to winning La Liga on two occasions. But now he’s leaving, and there’s only one man in my mind who should be replacing him: Antonio Conte.
Conte is a prolific manager in his own right, who also has a rich playing legacy as one of the most significant figures in the history of Juventus. What attracts me to him as a managerial candidate, however, isn’t his pedigree necessarily (though it’s nice to know he’s been successful in multiple places), but rather the way his teams play. Simply put, they play a beautiful style of football.
He plays a 3-5-2 (three defenders, five midfielders, two attackers), a formation not often seen since the early 90s. The 3-5-2 allows for a lot of ball movement and terrific short passes coupled with long runs and ample opportunities for crosses into the box for attackers, making for a terrific show to watch. Also, it can certainly be modified to allow for wing backs to double as attacking wingers, but that requires a specific, very fit type of player.
Fortunately, Real Madrid have a player named Ferland Mendy, who already plays this role well, despite the different formation (he played in a 4-3-3). As for the other side, Conte could take care of that by bringing Achraf Hakimi with him from Inter Milan, where Conte won the Serie A title this season. Hakimi will know Real Madrid well, having grown up with the club, and since Inter Milan never paid the money they promised for him, Real Madrid should be able to negotiate a very affordable transfer fee for him.
But that’s not all with Antonio Conte. Yes, his teams are entertaining, but watching the man himself might be even more entertaining. Conte is known the world over as probably the most emotive manager right now, and maybe ever. He celebrates every goal by running and cheering/screaming, and he’s known to kick balls to vent his frustration.
Conte’s showmanship is all well and good, but it’s his great strategies that make him the man I’d want to succeed Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid manager. What’s more is that, as of Thursday, May 27th, Conte is apparently the favorite to win the position, which would be music to my ears!