Cristiano Ronaldo: ‘Charismatic Zizou Transformed Real Madrid’.

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of those Real Madrid players who admit that Zinedine Zidane’s appointment as the club’s coach brought about the desired transformation.

Image: Cristiano Ronaldo

Though Los Blancos was sliding down the La Liga table earlier in 2016, charismatic Zizou rescued and improved the squad within a very short time, leading Madrid to a dramatic Champions League trophy.

The undisputed “2016 Best Player in Europe” says it’s true Madrid “didn’t make a good start” in the campaign, telling World Soccer magazine that hiring the Frenchman who replaced Rafa Benitez, was a pivotal moment that turned the season in Madrid’s favor.

“It was a year that had a bit of everything. We didn’t make a good start, or rather we didn’t start the way we wanted to, but we ended it well – that was the key to the season. I think that with Zidane’s arrival, many aspects of the team improved,” the Portugal captain said.

“We were able to win the Champions League, on a personal level I was the top scorer in the Champions League en route to us winning it, so it was possibly one of the best years of my career.

“In terms of trophies it was possibly the best year of my career. After winning the Champions League, winning the European Championship with my country capped an extraordinary year for me. Trophy-wise it was the tops, I’ve never had a better year.

“The same goes both collectively and individually, because I was the top scorer in the Champions League and had a good European Championship, and we were able to win the two most important trophies.”

Ronaldo is expected to return to action this week after missing Real Madrid’s first league game against Real Sociedad who lost 0-3 to the superior champions.