Zinedine Zidane has called time on his second stint as Real Madrid manager after failing to lead the club to silverware this season.
Having suffered an early exit from the Copa del Rey by minnows Alcoyano, Real Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-final stage by Chelsea and beaten in the race for the La Liga title by city rivals Atletico Madrid.
The club released a statement saying that they “must now respect” the former French playmaker’s decision, lauding him for his “professionalism, dedication and passion over the years and what he means to Real Madrid”.
During his playing career, Zidane was on the books of the Spanish giants for 5 trophy-laden years, before returning for his first stint as manager in 2016 and going on to win three successive Champions Leagues and a La Liga title before quitting his position in 2018.
His second stint would come only 10 months later, with the club in crisis, but he managed to not only save their season, but go on to win last season’s La Liga title, and he did it in sensational style.
2021 marks the first time since the 2009-10 season that Real have endured a barren season in terms of trophies.
“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,” read the official club statement.
“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 had moved to quench speculation linking him with a move away earlier this month, demanding that he and his players be showed a bit more “respect” but ultimately, today’s confirmation means the press knew exactly what they were hitting at.
Zidane, who won the Champions League, World Cup amongst numerous other achievements during his playing days, will be remembered as a legend for a lot of reasons.
He holds the record as the only manager to win three Champions League, not to mention consecutively. He also won the Club World Cup, Uefa Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup on two occasions each.
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Mubarak Mohammed Zakari He prefers to be known not as just a Sports Journalist; but as a "modern broadcaster" because of his ability to create content for visual, audio and print media. He co-hosts a football podcast with a growing audience from 17 countries across the globe.