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.’
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.
“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.
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.