Zinedine Zidane Bids Emotional Farewell to Real Madrid Days After Champions League Hat-trick
Zinedine Zidane has resigned as manager of Spanish giants Real Madrid just days after guiding the team to third Champions League title in as many seasons.
ZInedine Zidane speaking during the press conference as Florentino Perez watches on. (AFP Image)
Zinedine Zidane has resigned as manager of Spanish giants Real Madrid just days after guiding the team to the UEFA Champions League title in Kiev. Zidane claimed an unprecedented third consecutive Champions League title when Real beat Liverpool 3-1, capping a remarkable period in his first job in senior club management.
"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," said Zidane during the press conference.
"I love this club, I love the president. He gave me the opportunity to come as a player and now manager and I am eternally grateful. But we have to change," he added.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said Zidane's decision to leave was unexpected but the legendary Frenchman had made up his mind for anyone to change it now.
"After winning the Champions League, the decision was unexpected. It is a sad day for me, the fans and the players, but he knows I wanted him as a player and as a manager. I wanted him to stay forever and I wanted to convince him to stay. But I know it was his final decision. All I want to do is remind him that this club is his home and family," said Perez
"I went to his house yesterday [Wednesday] to see if he was prepared. He told me that he was convinced he wanted to go. I want to thank him for his commitment and passion to Real Madrid. His behaviour has always been an example for all and representative of Real. I don’t want this to be a goodbye but a "see you soon". I have no doubt he will come back soon," he added.
The Frenchman took over a divided dressing room after the sacking of Rafael Benitez in January, 2016 and immediately set about uniting the squad.
He claimed the first of his hat-trick of European triumphs two years ago when Real defeated local rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties in the final. A year later he led Real to their first European Cup and La Liga double in 59 years.
Real finished three points ahead of Barcelona as they won their first league title since 2012 before crushing Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final to become the first side to win the competition in its current format in back-to-back seasons.
Zidane won nine major honours as Real coach and the 45-year-old’s crowning glory came last Saturday as he joined an elite group of managers including Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti by lifting the European Cup for the third time as coach.
((With Agencies Input))
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