Zinedine Zidane has left his post as the manager of La Liga giants Real Madrid. The news was confirmed by the Spanish club on Thursday.
“Real Madrid announces that Zinedine Zidane has decided to bring to an end his current spell as coach of our club,” said Real in a statement. They then asked fans to “respect his decision”, adding that “Real Madrid is and always will be his home.”
According to multiple reports, Zidane asked the club to give him several days earlier this week in order to consider his future. On Wednesday, he informed the club and the players about his resignation.
Zidane ended his spell on Real Madrid’s bench after the club finished second in La Liga and was knocked out in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. The 48-year-old legend is expected to take a break before looking at a new opportunity. His favored job is believed to be the head coach of the France national team.
Real, on the other hand, is looking into several potential replacements for Zidane. Former Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri is the leading candidate, while the club’s legend Raul Gonzales is also in consideration.
Zinedine Zidane wore Real’s jersey as a player, helping the club win La Liga and UEFA Champions League trophy, among other silverware. He retired in 2006 but ended up returning to the club as the head coach of their B team in 2014. Two years later, Zidane was hired as the coach of the first team, replacing Rafael Benítez.
Real embarked on a highly successful run with Zidane at the helm, winning three straight UEFA Champions Leagues and one La Liga title. He resigned at the end of the 2017-18 season, saying the club needed a change but ended up returning several months later after the club’s poor run under Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari.