Zinedine Zidane has quit his job as Real Madrid head coach less than one week after leading the club to their third successive European Champions League glory.
The 45-year-old coach announced his departure in a surprise press conference at Real Madrid’s training ground on Thursday morning.
Zidane will be leaving Real Madrid as one of the club’s most successful managers having won three Champions Leagues, two FIFA Club World trophies and one La Liga title.
“I’ve taken the decision to not continue next year as Real Madrid coach,” Zidane told reporters.
“This is the right moment for everyone, it might seem a bit strange, but it had to be done for the good of everyone, the players, the club, and myself. This team must keep winning, and it needs a change after three years, another voice, and another method of working.
“I love this club a lot, the president, who gave me everything, to play first at this great club. I’ll always be thankful. Today I need to change, for me, for everyone, for this I’ve taken the decision,” Zidane said.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said he did all he could to persuade Zidane to stay but to no avail.
“I wanted him to stay forever and I wanted to convince him to stay. But I know it was his final decision.
“The only thing I want to say is ‘hasta pronto’ because I know he will return, maybe after a rest,” Perez said.
The Frenchman said he would be taking a break from soccer after leaving Real Madrid and would not be interested in taking a new role.
Zidane has in the past been linked with the manager’s job at Chelsea, although Antonio Conte is still in charge for now with Maurizio Sarri tipped to replace him.
Former Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has been installed as the early favorite to take over from Zidane.