Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as Real Madrid manager days after leading the club to a third straight Champions League title.

By Scooby Axson
May 31, 2018

Zinedine Zidane resigned as manager for Real Madrid on Thursday, days after leading the squad to a third straight Champions League title.

Real captured its 13th European title with a 3–1 victory over Liverpool last Saturday. Zidane was the first manager in Champions League history to win three straight titles and joined Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti as the only managers to win three total.

"I have made the decision to not continue next year as manager of Real Madrid," Zidane said at a press conference. "This is a strange moment but a very important moment. And I had to do this for everyone. This team must continue winning and it needs a change that will be good for everyone. "Madrid has given everything to me and I will be close to this club for the rest of my life. But the team needs another methodology and that is why I have made this decision. For me and for everyone, today, a change is needed and that is why I have reached this decision."

Zidane, 45, replaced Rafa Benitez in January 2016 and immediately led Madrid to success.

He guided Real Madrid to nine titles, including the La Liga title in 2016–17, while also winning two UEFA Super Cups, two Club World Cups, and one Spanish Super Cup during his tenure.

"It is a sad day, for me, for the club, the players, everyone at this club. It is an unexpected decision–I loved him as a player, and coach, and wanted him always at my side. But when he takes a decision the only thing we can do is respect it," club president Florentino Perez said.

Zidane was a star on the international stage for France before retiring in 2006, winning the World Cup in 1998 as well as the Euro 2000. He also won the 2002 Champions League as a player for Real Madrid.

Zidane said that he was not retiring from coaching and that he would take the helm at another club, though he will be taking a break.

"I am doing this for the good of this team, for this club," Zidane said. "It would have been difficult for me to win again next year. There have been good moments, but also difficult times. I do not forget that. 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. I did it as a player, and now again as a coach. This the right moment to end things well.

"There are many reasons for this. I am not tired of coaching, after three years. But it is the moment to [leave] here. ... I am not going to coach another team [right away]."

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