Zinedine Zidane steps down as Real Madrid manager five days after Champions League win
Zidane departs Bernabéu after back to back Champions League win.
Zinedine Zidane has decided to stand down as Real Madrid manager after leading the club to three Champions League titles in two-and-a-half seasons in charge.
Zidane told a news conference that “everything changes” and “that’s why I took this decision”.
The 45-year-old revealed his decision in a hastily-arranged press conference in the Spanish capital on Thursday. President Florentino Perez appeared alongside him and revealed it was an “unexpected decision”.
“I have taken the decision not to continue next year,” Zidane told the media.
“I love this club,” he added.
“What I think is that this team needs to continue winning but I think it needs a change, a different voice, another methodology. And that’s why I took this decision.”
“Madrid has given everything to me and I will be close to this club for the rest of my life. But the team needs another methodology and that is why I have made this decision. For me and for everyone, today, a change is needed and that is why I have reached this decision. I am grateful to the fans.
“There are difficult moments when you can wonder whether you are the right person still. I do not forget the hard times, as well as the good times, and that makes you reflect. And this is the right moment. The players need a change, I want to thank them too, as in the end they are the ones who fight on the pitch. This is a demanding club, not easy for them, with this great history. We always want more from the players, and a moment comes when I cannot ask them for more. They need another voice, to return to winning again.
“I am doing this for the good of this team, for this club. It would have been difficult for me to win again next year. There have been good moments, but also difficult times. I do not forget that. And at this club you must know this. I do not want to start a season and have a bad time, I want to end with Real Madrid when everything is going well. I did it as a player, and now again as a coach. This the right moment to end things well.
“There are many reasons for this. I am not tired of coaching, after three years. But it is the moment to [leave] here…. I am not going to coach another team [right away].”
Club president Florentino Perez said as he opened the news conference: “It is a sad day, for me, for the club, the players, everyone at this club. It is an unexpected decision — I loved him as a player, and coach, and wanted him always at my side. But when he takes a decision the only thing we can do is respect it.
“I would have liked to convince him, but I know how he is, so the only thing I can do is offer my respect and acknowledgement, and tell him he will always be welcome here at his home.
“This is ‘until soon’ as I have no doubt that you will be back. Although if you need a rest, we understand that.”
The French man took over after Rafael Benitez was sacked and was in charge for 149 games. He steered Real to 104 wins and 29 draws, had 69.8% win rate, and won nine trophies.