At a news conference scheduled at short notice on Thursday, the 45-year-old confirmed he would step down following Saturday's 3-1 victory over Liverpool in Kiev saw him become the first coach ever to lift the European Cup three years in a row.
The France legend has won nine trophies in just two-and-a-half seasons managing Real, having replaced Rafa Benitez midway through 2015/16, and now the Bernabeu club are on the lookout for a new head coach. I know it's a odd moment for everyone involved, but I think it's the right decision.
"The decision maybe does not make sense to many people, but it does to me", said Zidane. I want to thank the fans - they've always backed me as a manager and as a player. And this is the right moment.
Madrid had hoped he would stay longer and continue to build an era-defining team over the next few seasons, but there were signs of decay in 2017-18 despite winning the Champions League. They need another voice, to return to winning again. "I spoke with (Sergio) Ramos who respected my decision and wished me luck". I am not exhausted of coaching, after three years.
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In addition to the three European titles, Zidane also won six other titles with the club, including one league crown.
"I love this club, I love the president who has given me the chance to come as a player and then a manager and I am eternally grateful to him". I tried to convince him but I know how it is.
"But he did it so well and I think he's nearly surprised himself, so he went "this is it, this is finished... About what comes next, is not for me to say", said Zidane". "I'm not here to talk about the future of this team".
So it was announced on Thursday that Zinedine Zidane would be leaving Real Madrid.