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Hierro returns to Real Madrid 12 years later to replace Zidane as Ancelotti's assistant

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MADRID - Real Madrid says former captain Fernando Hierro will replace Zinedine Zidane as assistant to coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Hierro returns to Madrid 11 years after surprisingly exiting alongside former coach Vicente del Bosque. The former defender made 601 appearances for Madrid, scoring 127 goals and winning the Champions League three times. He also earned 89 caps for Spain.

Hierro, who took up posts as sporting director of the Spanish national team and Malaga in recent years, replaces Zidane who will become head coach of Madrid's reserve team Real Madrid Castilla in Liga Segunda B next season.

Ancelotti, who guided Madrid to a Champions League-Copa del Rey double last season, welcomed Hierro with a simple tweet: "Welcome Fernando!"

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