Zinedine Zidane does not deserve to be criticised despite Real Madrid's poor form, according to Claude Makelele.
Madrid won LaLiga last season but are fourth in the table after 21 matches this term, sitting 19 points behind rivals Barcelona, who top the league.
Zidane accepts his fate could come down to a last-16 Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain, the Frenchman seeking to win the tournament for the third year in a row.
Los Blancos' form has seen Zidane's future come under intense scrutiny but Makelele, now in charge at Belgian First Division A side Eupen, has defended his former team-mate.
"The treatment that Zidane is given has been unfair," Makelele said. "In football, the successes are forgotten too quickly.
"I know that he will recover, sometimes we call each other simply to encourage one another.
"He is as good a coach as he was a player. He has the same values as he did on the pitch; he's a leader and a worker. He never hides and he takes all of his responsibilities.
"Not everyone can help players like he has. That's why Zizou is a great coach. What he has done in two or three years with Real Madrid, no other coach in the world has done."