Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane has replaced Rafael Benitez as the Real Madrid coach.Getty Images

Ottmar Hitzfeld has called Real Madrid's decision to appoint Zinedine Zidane as their new coach "madness". The 66-year-old manager – who ended his trophy-laden career after taking Switzerland to the 2014 World Cup – has blasted Los Blancos' move to replace Rafa Benitez with the Frenchman.

The German called the decision illogical, given Zidane's lack of top coaching experience. He added that the three-time Fifa world player of the year "is living off his illustrious name as a footballer".

"For [Zidane] it is like winning the lottery jackpot. It is madness," he said, according to Yahoo. "Zidane has proven nothing as a coach and he is now in charge of the biggest stars in the world. It is an incredibly difficult task, although I hope it goes well for him."

Zidane's coaching experience to date includes 18 months at the helm of Real Madrid's B-team, Castilla. He also served as a member of Carlo Ancelotti's backroom staff during the Italian's time at the Bernabeu.

However, the World Cup-winning midfielder has been backed to succeed by former Real coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo, with the caveat that he must not be undermined by Cristiano Ronaldo. The Brazilian – who had an 11-month spell at Madrid in 2005/06 – told Marca: "Zidane was a leader in the dressing room when he was a player, so Cristiano Ronaldo will have to understand that there will be a person with leadership and with great knowledge of football there.

"The dressing room belongs to the players up to a certain point. From then on it belongs to the coach. If Cristiano Ronaldo thinks he's the coach it's difficult. He has to understand he's a player and not a coach. The coach is Zidane.

"If you can make those things clear it doesn't matter if it's Cristiano Ronaldo or [Lionel] Messi. Barcelona is a good example that Messi is just a player. He was a player with [Pep] Guardiola and is still a player with Luis Enrique. He's a star but is still a player. That's his limit."