Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane announced his departure from the club following three successive Champions League wins. Zidane made the decision at a surprise press conference held at the Bernabeu on May 31. Zidane had taken Real to their 13th European win last week when they beat Liverpool 3-1.
Zidane had two years remaining on his contract with Real but he decided to step away barely a week after beating Liverpool. At the press conference with Florentino Perez, Real Madrid president, Zidane said, “I have taken the decision to not continue going into the next season. For me and for everybody, I think the moment to change has arrived. It was not an easy decision… Madrid has given me everything. I will be close to this club all my life.”
Sergio Ramos is the first player Zidane told about his decision to step down. Ramos tweeted out a tribute to the former coach. When asked if he would have quit if Real lost the final, he said, ‘I don’t know. Maybe.’
Míster, como jugador y ahora como entrenador, decidiste despedirte en lo más alto. Gracias por dos años y medio de fútbol, trabajo, cariño y amistad. Te vas pero tu legado ya es imborrable. Uno de los capítulos mas exitosos de la historia de nuestro querido @realmadrid pic.twitter.com/LtyEE5g71k— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) May 31, 2018
It is not clear what the Frenchman has in mind for the future, but he insists that it is time to move on. “I’m not going to coach another team right now. I’m not looking for another team,” he said, adding that the players were in need of someone with new ideas.
Zidane: "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, another method of working."— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 31, 2018
“It can be a ‘see you later’. Madrid has given me everything. I will be close to this club all my life. But the decision, for many, doesn’t make sense. But it does to me. It is the moment to make a change. I think it is the right decision for everyone,” said Zidane at the press conference.
The announcement reportedly shocked Perez himself and he did not mention any plans of finding a replacement. Zidane’s departure may also cast doubts on Gareth Bale, who had announced that he was considering his future.
Gracias Mister! It’s been a pleasure!🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/99VzaBxUoV— Toni Kroos (@ToniKroos) May 31, 2018
No tengo palabras para agradecerte todo lo que has hecho por este vestuario, por el Real Madrid y por el madridismo. Ha sido un orgullo y un privilegio tener como entrenador a mi ídolo. Eterno Zizou. pic.twitter.com/wjK45SMQz7— Casemiro (@Casemiro) May 31, 2018
Mister Zizou. He aprendido muchísimo a tu lado!— Marcelotwelve (@MarceloM12) May 31, 2018
He disfrutado como un niño a cada entrenamiento, a cada consejo!
Eres muy especial para mi!
Has hecho historia con tu trabajo, tu dedicación, pasión y sobretodo con tu humildad!
Gracias Mister #marchelin 😭 pic.twitter.com/MvWCwjYSqR
Zidane is one of those managers who has the fortune of leaving his job on a high. The internet is buzzing with tributes for him.
Gracias Zidane. pic.twitter.com/LeKwQm54td— #CHAMP13NS 🏆⚽️ (@realmadrid) May 31, 2018