French manager Zinedine Zidane has told reporters he is to immediately step down as manager of Real Madrid. The news follows months of speculation about the manager’s future in charge of the European giants.
The news that Zidane will depart the Madrid powerhouse comes merely five days following a historic Champions League victory over Liverpool. No other team in modern football has managed to win the trophy on three consecutive occasions.
“I have decided not to be Real Madrid coach next season. I spoke to Florentino yesterday [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,” Zidane told reporters.
“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,” the now former Real Madrid manager says.
News of Zizou’s departure comes as a bit of a shock, taking into account the recent UCL triumph. However, rumors that Real were looking to replace Zidane have existed for much of the season. Real Madrid has finished third in La Liga, with familiar rivals Barcelona winning the trophy.
Zidane’s reputation as a manager is still a matter of debate. His reputation as a player, however, has been firmly established, with the former France #10 seen by many pundits and fans as one of the greatest footballers of the modern age.
Gracias Zidane. pic.twitter.com/Npo3bFN0Mb
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) May 31, 2018
Real Madrid is thus far the only high-profile managerial job that Zidane has held. Although some fans would argue that the Frenchman was lucky to receive the appointment, he has proven tremendously successful in his time here. During this time Real Madrid has won La Liga once, The Europe Super League twice and The Champions League on three occasions.
It remains to be seen what is next for Zidane. Few managers have been as successful in such a short amount of time. Regardless, La Liga and the Champions League will be available in FootballCoin contests for next season.