Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo reacts with touching message

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In a decision that shocked many in world football, Zinedine Zidane stepped down as the manager of Real Madrid football club earlier today (May 31st). We take a look at a few of the contenders.

"This club's history is huge, we always ask a lot of players, but there comes a moment when you think 'What more can I ask of them, after what they've done for me?' For this I think they need another discourse".

It was an unexpected move by the former great who won nine titles as Madrid coach, including the three Champions League titles, one Spanish league title, one Spanish Super Cup, two UEFA Super Cups and two Club World Cups.

The man who coached Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title has quit after two years in charge. "Big players need a change". I thank you all for your support and there are hard times when there are whistles but that is part of this club.

Zidane is understood to have wanted to keep the majority of his squad together but Madrid are planning signings this summer with a new goalkeeper to replace Zidane favourite Keylor Navas a priorty. "I want to leave when everything is going well". He knows there is always an appetite for him to return, that the bridge hasn't been burned.

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Madrid's third-place LaLiga finish is likely the major factor in Zidane's departure, as Los Blancos ended the season 17 points adrift of bitter rivals and champions Barcelona.

Zidane took over the role in January 2016 after Rafael Benitez was sacked following a poor string of results. In the very next year, Zidane upped the ante with another European Cup victory against the mighty Italian side Juventus.

Madrid will now try to buy Mauricio Pochettino out of his new Tottenham deal.

All the players were told Zidane was off by text message just moments before he sat down to face reporters.

Zidane followed up his maiden Champions League crown as a coach with a LaLiga title and in June 2017 his side delivered a more emphatic European Cup final triumph as his former employers Juve were humbled 4-1 in Cardiff.