Real Madrid ended their disappointing season with a home humiliation to Real Betis, as Los Blancos lost 2-0 on Sunday.
Goals from Loren Moron and former Real man Jese condemned Madrid to a 12th loss of the campaign in a season many fans will want to forget.
For manager Zinedine Zidane, it was a stark reminder of how much work he has to do in the summer to get the stricken giants firing again and challenging for the titles the president of the club desires.
In an interview reported by the Evening Standard, the 46-year-old said: "The best thing that can happen for us is to have it over now and to think about next year.
"We have no excuses. After many games we had to apologise as we have responsibility to at least give everything. It has been difficult from the start of the season, and the end with me, that is the reality.
He also believes that despite Los Blancos' troubles this season, the only way is up and that they can improve come the start of the next campaign.
"It is not the first bad year in the history of this club. And after the bad, comes the good. But we must not forget this season, we must have it very present to prepare the next one.
"We must think now about next year, and exciting our fans again. We are going to prepare the pre-season very well. We will not say that we will win everything next year, but we will compete from the first moment, and be up there battling with the others."
It was clear that Zidane understood that recent results since his return were not good enough but seemed to steer the blame away from his players and onto himself. He said: "I always say the same, we must accept when things go bad. I am responsible for this. We had 11 games, we won five, lost four, and in the end that is what it is."