Read Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has left the club for a second time, the club announced on Thursday, confirming reports from Wednesday evening by Sky Sport Italy's Fabrizio Romano.
Zidane, who served as manager of Real Madrid from 2016 to 2018, left the club in 2018 but re-signed in 2019. He began his first stint with the team by becoming the first manager to win Champions League three times consecutively. He also won the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup twice each. This season, however, was Real Madrid's first without a trophy since 2009-2010.
Real Madrid was reportedly preparing for his departure by the end of the season, according to ESPN. Zidane would not commit to an answer on whether not he would return next season when pressured on the subject — leading to speculation he'd leave.
"We must now respect his decision and express our gratitude for his professionalism, dedication and passion over the years and what he means to Real Madrid," the club wrote in a statement. "Zidane is one of Real Madrid’s great icons and his legacy extends beyond what he has achieved as a coach and player at our club."
He is aware that he has a place in the hearts of the Real Madrid fans and that he will always have a home at Real Madrid.
Zidane was named the Best FIFA Men's Coach in 2017. When he returned to his post in 2018 he won the La Liga and Supercopa de España titles — both feats he accomplished in his first stint as well.
Zidane, 48, played for Real Madrid from 2001 to '06 before retiring and making his transition to coaching. He is considered to be one of the best players of all time and was named FIFA World Player of the Year three times during his 17-year senior career.
Various reports have linked former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri, now-ex-Inter manager Antonio Conte and former Real Madrid great Raúl with the vacancy.
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