Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

Zinedine Zidane stuns Real Madrid by stepping down as coach

Zinedine Zidane stuns Real Madrid by stepping down as coach

But even for Zidane, managing some players became an issue.

He earned a red card in the 2006 World Cup final, probably costing France the title, for his full-blooded headbutt against Italian Marco Materazzi.

The goal, which is rated as one of the best final goals ever, was emulated by Gareth Bale's acrobatic goal in Saturday's Champions League final, where Madrid sank Liverpool 3-1 in Kiev.

Florentino Perez, president of the club, said: "As you can imagine, after winning this latest European Cup, this has come as a completely unexpected decision".

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"I have a special love for this fanbase. I wish we could always have Zidane by our side, but we know that when Zizou makes a decision, the only thing we can do is to accept it and respect it".

Zidane said all of this in a hastily organised press conference.

The club have not named a successor, however local media reports suggest Tottenham Hotspur's Mauricio Pochettino, who signed a new five-year contract with the London club last week, is their first choice to replace the Frenchman. "Having done well in the last three years, it is the right decision", he said. "What I think this team needs is to continue winning but I think it needs a change, a different voice, another methodology".

"After three years it's hard to continue coaching, even more so after winning three Champions Leagues".

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Zidane said he felt like it was the right time for him and the club to make a change. "I can proudly say that I am thankful to the fans". He also revealed recently he was approached several times by the Spanish side during his time in London.

"But apart from that, Real will always have a chance to win the Champions League".

Zidane had taken over as coach of Madrid in January 2016.

When pressed on whether or not the various crises surrounding Real Madrid and their star players had forced him into this decision, the Frenchman was quick to quash such speculation.

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Zidane may not be the only big-name exit at the Bernabeu. As assistant to Carlo Ancelotti, he was on the bench in Lisbon when Madrid secured La Decima in 2014. And at this club you must know this: I do not want to start a season and have a bad time, I want to end with Real Madrid when everything is going well.

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