Zinedine Zidane has sensationally resigned as Real Madrid head coach less than a week after leading the club to their third successive European Cup triumph.
The 45-year-old announced his departure in a surprise press conference at Real Madrid’s training ground on Thursday morning.
Zidane leaves Real Madrid as one of the club’s most successful managers having won three Champions Leagues, two Fifa Club World Cups and one La Liga title.
The club announced that Zidane was to appear in a hastily arranged news conference that caught many by surprise, fueling speculation that his tenure at the Santiago Bernabeu could be coming to an end.
Zidane confirmed his departure at the start of the briefing, just five days after he presided over the 3-1 Champions League final win over Liverpool.
Such success, which he also managed in each of his first two seasons in charge of the team, has not been enough to prolong his tenure.
“I have decided not to be Real Madrid coach next season,” said Zidane, who was joined by club president Florentino Perez.
“I spoke to Florentino [on Wednesday] to tell him my thoughts, my feelings. I know it’s a strange moment for everyone involved, but I think it’s the right decision.
“I think this team needs to keep winning but I think after three years a change is needed, something different, a different message, different ways of going about things.
“That’s why I decided to take this decision. It’s a club I love and I love the president too, he brought me to this huge club and I will always be grateful, but I think a change is needed so I will not be here next season.”
Madrid’s third-place LaLiga finish is likely the major factor in Zidane’s departure, as Los Blancos ended the season 17 points adrift of bitter rivals and champions Barcelona.
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