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- Zinedine Zidane has quit Real Madrid in the most spectacular fashion.
- The 45-year-old manager has resigned from his Real role just five days after guiding the club to a third successive Champions League title.
- Club president Florentino Perez said Zidane’s decision was “unexpected.”
Zinedine Zidane has resigned from his managerial role at Real Madrid.
The 45-year-old made a shock announcement confirming his decision at a hastily-arranged media conference on Thursday, just five days after winning the 2018 UEFA Champions League final – his third successive Champions League title.
According to the BBC, Zidane expressed his “love” for Real before explaining the rationale behind his resignation. “What I think this team needs is to continue winning but I think it needs a change, a different voice, another methodology. And that’s why I took this decision.”
He added: “It’s a strange moment to do so, I know, but an important one too. I had to do this for everyone.”
Zidane took over the Real reins in January 2016. In the two and a half years he has managed the club, the Frenchman has overseen an unprecedented era of sustained success. Zidane has guided Real to 104 wins and 29 draws from 149 games in all competitions – a win rate of 69.8%.
He is quitting in spectacular fashion as he has now won the La Liga championship, two FIFA Club World Cups, and three Champions League titles.
But it is in keeping with how he has left football in the past.
After all, Zidane’s last action as a professional footballer was ramming the butt of his head into the chest of Marco Materazzi during the France vs. Italy final in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Zidane had converted a seventh minute penalty earlier in the game, a goal that was eventually cancelled out by Materazzi’s 19th minute equaliser. With the match precariously-poised at 1-1 in extra time, Zidane’s headbutt saw him sent off in the 110th minute. France lost the match via a penalty shootout.
Now, his decision to bow out as Real boss is equally shocking.
“This was a totally unexpected decision,” Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said. “Zidane informed me of his choice yesterday.”