Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid departure last summer was a sign that all was not well at the club.
Coupled with Cristiano Ronaldo's decision to switch to Juventus, a changing of the guard was afoot.
But the extent to which the side that won three Champions League titles in a row declined took everyone by surprise.
Something else has taken everyone by surprise now though. Less than a week after Ajax knocked them out of the final competition they were still realistically in, the club president has moved swiftly.
And he's moved into the past. Not towards Jose Mourinho who was tipped to take charge at Real, but to Zidane - the man who led them to the European glories between 2016 and 2018.
"Totally different job"
Ex-Chelsea and Everton winger Pat Nevin joined us on Off The Ball to share his reaction.
"He done brilliantly as a manager but it's a totally different job," he said.
"He'll be picking up a team now that's really struggling in comparison with before. They are a Ronaldo-less team but also a team that needs to be completely overhauled.
"It's a totally different job. But he's only just out of there. I have to say, I didn't see it coming, purely because I thought he'd made his decision. The only way is down you almost think for him.
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"Famously that club doesn't stick by managers for any long period of time. So it takes a year, two years to turn it around, do they give Zidane that sort of time?
"They should do but will they give him that time? But I have to say, it came as a real shock to me that he's actually got the job. But I understand it and I'm not saying it's stupid or anything. At least give the guy some time for goodness sake."
You can listen to the full Football Show above via YouTube, including the chat with Nevin.