Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as head coach of Real Madrid just days after leading the Spanish giants to a third successive Champions League title.
The 45-year-old Frenchman, who replaced Rafael Benitez in January 2016, has won nine trophies as Real boss. His record at Real stands at 104 wins in 149 matches with 29 draws and 16 losses.
Speaking at a snap press conference today Zidane revealed he has “taken the decision not to continue next year”. He said: “I know it’s a strange moment for everyone involved, but I think it’s the right decision. After three years, a change is needed. Something different, a different message.”
After a meeting last night Zidane informed Real president Florentino Perez of his plans. Perez told the press that he was shocked by Zidane’s decision.
Perez said: “After winning the Champions League, I wasn’t expecting this. He knows I loved him more than any other player or manager and I’ve always wanted him by my side. Nobody can be ready or prepared to get news like this.”
Zidane, who also won the La Liga title and the Champions League as a Real player, would not speculate on the futures of some of the club’s star players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
“A change is needed,” Zidane said again. “I’m not going to get involved in these things. I’m not here to talk about the future of this team.”
On his future plans Zidane added that he is “not tired of managing”. He said: “I’ve been managing for three years but I think for me, the time to leave the club is now.”