Key to the team’s success has been the bolstering of the defense, which let in 46 goals last season under Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, before Zidane was persuaded to make a shock comeback in March 2019.Real continued to look shaky in defense as they shipped six goals in their first four matches this season, but they responded by keeping 10 clean sheets in their next 15.Their defense has got even better since the coronavirus stoppage, conceding three goals in nine matches and keeping five consecutive clean sheets for the first time since 2008.They now boast the best defensive record in Europe.”Zidane is a blessing from Heaven above and I hope he stays with us for a very long time,” said Real president Florentino Perez.”People can criticize him all they want, we’ll keep on winning trophies with him.”Overcoming obstaclesThe coach has also overcome a series of obstacles.He was in deep trouble when his side were thrashed 3-0 by Paris St Germain in September then beaten by promoted Mallorca in October, as Spanish media speculated he could lose his job and be replaced by a then unemployed Jose Mourinho.But the coach weathered the storm by leading Madrid to an unbeaten run of 15 league games.Zidane has also had to grapple with serious injuries, such as losing Spain winger Marcos Asensio for 11 months due to knee surgery, while star signing Eden Hazard’s season has been plagued by ankle problems.Zidane’s use of his entire squad is evidenced by having 21 different goalscorers in La Liga, while he has also rejuvenated senior players who had been widely dismissed as past their best, including Luka Modric, Marcelo and Isco.”He is the one who made the difference, the person who put all his faith in the players, something very few coaches do,” Ramos said.”We always feel that he has our backs and we believe in him.” Zinedine Zidane risked tarnishing his record by diving back into the Real Madrid coaching job 10 months after resigning, but in securing the La Liga title in his first full season back, he has showed yet again that no-one is better suited to the role.One of the finest midfielders of all-time and a league and Champions League winner as a Real player, Zidane collected his second La Liga title as the club’s coach after his side beat Villarreal 2-1 on Thursday, adding to his triumph in 2017.”He has been the key, he is the captain of this ship,” said Real captain Sergio Ramos of his coach. Topics : “I hope he lasts a long time at the club and that he is appreciated, because he is unique.”In spite of his remarkable record in two and a half years with Real before resigning in 2018 after winning a record third consecutive Champions League crown, Zidane was often dismissed by some as little more than a smiling motivator.Described in the Spanish media as an “alineador”, doing little more than picking a starting 11 from one of the world’s most talented squads, his success has also often been put down to being blessed with good fortune.But this season Zidane has proved to be a superb manager in every sense.
Mary Ann Siefert, age 92 of Batesville, gained her angel wings on April 28, 2020. Born December 11, 1927 in Morris, Indiana, she is the daughter of Therese (Nee: Riehle) and Martin Prickel. The young farm girl married Jerome “Jake” Siefert on June 21, 1952 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Morris, and he preceded her in death on April 18, 1999. She retired from the Hill-Rom Company and began to travel with Jake, visiting her daughters and their families along the way.Those who knew Mary Ann knew how much she enjoyed family gatherings, tending to her flower and vegetable gardens and chatting on the breezeway with visiting friends and neighbors. She and Jake started their family with twin girls, another daughter arrived eighteen months later, and another eight years later — she had her hands full but excelled as a mama with all her daughters. Mary Ann volunteered at St. Louis parish and school, and at the former Hospitality Hall, and was a member of the Red Hat Belles and Surviving Spouses Dinner Club.When her twins left for college, Mary Ann decided to accept a job working in the upholstery area, and later in the wiring department of Hill-Rom. This venture provided a wealth of great friendships that lasted into her retirement. Holidays with family gathered were her favorite times, and she treasured the addition of each son-in-law, grandchild and great-grandchild … and was thrilled when another set of twins arrived among the great-grandchildren. When asked what she would miss the most, she replied, “Seeing my greats grow up.”Following Jake’s death, Mary Ann began to downsize her household and made the decision to move to St. Andrews at age 91. She thrived in the assisted living environment and thoroughly enjoyed the residents and activities and praised their caring staff members. She came into the world surrounded by the love of family at the Prickel farm on Lammers Pike and entered her eternal life “just down the road a bit,” at St. Andrews, surrounded again by the love of family. Mary Ann is survived by her daughters Jean (Jeff) Beckley of Carmel, Indiana; Jane (Jim) Nordmeyer of Monclova, Ohio; Peggi (Von) Shipman of Valdosta, Georgia; and Sue Siefert of Batesville. She was most proud of her grandchildren, James Beckley, Sarah Nordmeyer, Jacque Beckley (Brad) Smith, Eric (fiancée Mary Bajic) Nordmeyer, John Nordmeyer, Jenna Beckley (fiancée Jason Bates) and Jordan Beckley, her two step-grandchildren, Chris and Katie Shipman, and her precious great-grandchildren, Tyler, Graham and Lyla Smith, and Jacob and Addison Nordmeyer.In addition to her husband and parents, she is also preceded in death by an infant daughter, Mary June, a sister, Helen Wettering and a brother, Leonard Prickel.Due to COVID-19 precautions, a drive-thru viewing will be held Saturday, May 2 from 9:30-11:00 at the Weigel funeral home. Private graveside service will be held at St. Louis Cemetery. Later, when conditions permit, a celebration of her life will be held.The family requests paying it forward to memorialize Mary Ann – consider volunteering or contributing to a food or blood bank, helping a neighbor in need during this time of isolation, supporting the first responders, truckers, grocery workers or healthcare workers with an act of kindness. Memorials donations may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis or the St. Andrew’s Activity Fund and mailed to Weigel Funeral Home, P.O. Box 36, Batesville, Indiana, 47006.