Just five days after Real Madrid’s victory against Liverpool FC which saw them clinch their 13th Champions League title, The manager Zinedine Zidane has announced his resignation.
The Frenchman announced his resignation at the Valdebebas training ground on Thursday afternoon.
He insisted that he and the club needed a change and admitted that he was not convinced Real Madrid would continue winning if he remained in charge.
The club’s president, Florentino Pérez, described it as a “sad day” and said the decision was “unexpected”.
Zidane did not say exactly when he made the decision to depart.
Pérez said That Zidane had earlier communicated his decision on Wednesday and a press conference was hurriedly called on Thursday morning. At the same time, the players were informed of the decision by text message.
Zidane said he had spoken to the Real captain, Sergio Ramos, and would speak to the other club captains, Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo, in due course.
According to him, he has no plans to manage another club at the moment but is not tired of coaching.
Real Madrid did not say anything about a successor but Mauricio Pochettino is among those they have long identified as candidates.
Zidane had been due to discuss plans for the coming season – plans that would include the futures of Gareth Bale and Ronaldo, both of whom had suggested they would leave immediately after the Champions League final. But instead, it is the manager who walks away.
“I would have liked to convince him to stay but I know how he is,” Pérez said at the start of the press conference.
“I have taken the decision not continue as coach of Real Madrid next year,” Zidane said. “I spoke to the president to explain what I thought. I think it is the moment, for me and for the squad. I know it is a bit of a strange moment but I think this is the right moment. This is a team that should keep on winning and it needs a change for that. After three years, it needs another discourse, and working methodology and that is why I took this decision.”
“There are complicated moments in the season when you ask: ‘Am I still the right person? I don’t forget the hard moments too. There are lovely moments and we ended with a spectacular moment but there are hard moments that make you reflect.” He identified Real’s defeat in the Copa del Rey as one of the key moments.
“I think this is the right time to go,” he added.
“I also think these players need a change. They’re the ones who fight on the pitch. It’s not easy for them. It’s a demanding club with a huge history and the players are always squeezed. We always want more and more and there is a moment when you think: ‘Well, what more can I ask from my players?’ I want to win and if I don’t see clearly that we’re going to keep on winning, then it is best to change and not do anything stupid.”
Zidane leaves having won nine titles, three of which were consecutive European Cups.
However, he said the title that gave him the greatest satisfaction was last season’s Spanish league win.
Asked if he might have stayed on if Real Madrid had not won the Champions League final against Liverpool, he replied: “I don’t know. Could be, could be.”