Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has said Zinedine Zidane is “the best coach in the world” during celebrations after winning the 2016-17 La Liga title.
Zidane’s side edged out Barcelona to clinch their first Primera Division championship in five years on the final day with Sunday’s 2-0 win at Malaga and they can complete a double not seen at the club since 1958 if they win the Champions League final against Juventus in Cardiff on May 3.
After partying past 3 a.m. on Sunday night at the city’s Plaza de Cibeles, the squad were received by both Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena and regional president Cristina Cifuentes during a busy Monday schedule of official engagements.
Speaking at the town hall, Perez praised the work Zidane had done in getting the team to play exciting but winning football, while maintaining the motivation and spirit among each member of his talented squad.
“Thanks Zizou for all you have given us, and all you keep giving us,” Perez said. “You were the best player in the world, and now you are simply the best coach in the world.
“You, your assistants, and this squad have made history again with exciting football. Madrid scored in every game of the season, which shows our philosophy. They all took part, they are all important and this team spirit has made us stronger.
“This league title is a symbol of our values, it was achieved fighting until the last game, and respecting our opponents, who made it difficult for us. This team has given us something we had wished for a long time.”
Fresh from serenading supporters Cristiano Ronaldo addressed Blancos fans from the town hall balcony and said he hoped to be back again in a fortnight’s time to show off another Champions League trophy.
“Thank you very much for being here today,” Ronaldo said. “This trophy is yours for your support. Now we’re going for the Champions League final. Siiiiii!”
Club captain Sergio Ramos added that the now 33-time champions had again brought the trophy “home” to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
“Thank you for the love and support you always show,” Ramos said. “Once again the league has come home and we want to share it with all of you. Thank you very much and hopefully we can come back in a couple of weeks with the Champions League. Hala Madrid!”
Even James Rodriguez, reported to be leaving Madrid this summer with Manchester United among his potential destinations, joined in and said the title-winning party had been “unique.”
“I’m happy,” James said. “We’ve worked hard to win it. It has been a fair and hard-fought league, and we were able to win it. Yesterday’s celebration was unique. You can only explain it if you experienced it. That is why we’re here, to win titles, and on the third [of June] we can win the Champions League.”