Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as Real Madrid manager less than a week after winning a third consecutive UEFA Champions League title with the club.
The shock announcement was made on Thursday afternoon when Zidane revealed in a press conference that he would be moving on from the position he has filled since 2016, stating that he believes Los Merengues need a new voice and fresh approach.
“What I think is that this team needs to continue winning but I think it needs a change, a different voice, another methodology and that’s why I took this decision,” the Frenchman told the press.
— #CHAMP13NS 🏆⚽️ (@realmadrid) May 30, 2018
“I love this club and the president who gave me the chance to play for this club and manage the club of my dreams.
“But everything changes and that’s why I’ve taken the decision to leave.”
“After doing three years, it’s the right decision. I understand, and what I can do is thank the fans not only as a coach but as a player they have always supported me.
“I have a special love for this fanbase. I thank you all for your support and there are difficult times when there are whistles but that is part of this club. I think at times the players need it, when you have a difficult time you have to front up occasionally. When the fans spur us on, that’s important.”
— #CHAMP13NS 🇺🇸🇬🇧 (@realmadriden) May 30, 2018
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez added: “This was a totally unexpected decision and today is a sad day for me and for everyone who works for this club.
“When he says he’s taken a decision though, we have to accept it.
“I tried to convince him but I know how it is. He knows he has all our love and support.
— #CHAMP13NS 🏆⚽️ (@realmadrid) May 28, 2018
“One can’t be prepared for something like this. I remember the first time I went to his house and asked him to coach Real Madrid and he was absolutely convinced he could win things.
“We must thank him for his care and passion for Real Madrid over these years.
“The only thing I want to say is ‘hasta pronto’ because I know he will return, maybe after a rest.”