(CNN)Zinedine Zidane has made a surprise return to coach Real Madrid less than a year after leaving the Spanish giants in the wake of one of its great European successes.
The 46-year-old Frenchman led Real to three consecutive Champions League trophies during his first spell in charge at the Bernabeu, but then stepped down in May 2018.
Zidane replaces former teammate Santiago Solari, who was promoted to the role of Real coach after Julen Lopetegui was dismissed following a poor run of form in October.
"Real Madrid appreciates the work done by Santiago Solari and the commitment and loyalty he has always shown to this house," said a Real Madrid statement on Monday.
"The Board of Directors has also agreed the appointment of Zinedine Zidane as the new coach of Real Madrid with immediate incorporation for the remainder of the season and the next three, until June 30, 2022."
Zidane was already a Real legend thanks to an illustrious five-year-period as a player at the club between 2001 and 2006.
He took over as Real Madrid coach in January 2016 and made a near immediate impact, winning the Champions League later that season.
Two more European titles followed before he abruptly left in May 2018, a matter of days after securing the hat-trick of Champions League titles as Real defeated Liverpool in Kiev.
No team had won three Champions League or European Cups in succession since Bayern Munich between 1973 and 1975.
Upon announcing his departure, Zidane said the team needed "a change after three years, another voice, another method of working."
Zinedine Zidane announced his resignation as Real boss in May 2018 before returning nine months later.
A popular figure among Real's star players, Zidane lost just 16 times in his 149 games in charge.
He also averaged a trophy every 16 games, with Real picking up two FIFA Club World Cups, two UEFA Supercups, a La Liga title and a Spanish Supercup alongside the Champions League crowns.
Real have toiled in the period since. They are currently 12 points behind La Liga leaders and arch rivals Barcelona.
They also suffered a surprise Champions League exit at the hands of Ajax last week.
Spanish newspaper Marca labeled that defeat as the "failure of the century."
This is really a pleasantly shocking news today, lol! Last night, when I skimmed thru some sports sites and read rumors about President Perez would appoint him to replace Solari tomorrow, I did think it just a canard as Heraclitus ever said, “no one ever steps in the same river twice…” It’s just a suicide to return the place he left 9 months ago ‘cause it’s just a big mess now.
Though, he did… because he is a genius and his talents are unbelievably extraordinary! Who can coach a football club to win 3 consecutive Champions Leagues just in 2 and a half year? Only Zizou and nobody else. To be honest, I have never been a Madridista but a diehard fan of Zizou. So, wherever he goes, I’ll support him unconditionally and pray for his success again with the club he loves all his heart! Hala Madrid!