Zinedine Zidane stepping down as Real Madrid coach
Madrid: Zinedine Zidane is stepping down as Real Madrid coach, again.
The club said Thursday the Frenchman is leaving his job, a few days after a season in which Madrid failed to win a title for the first time in more than a decade.
The club said Zidane decided to bring an end to his current spell as Madrid’s coach.
“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 said in a statement.
Zidane had a contract through June 2022.
“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,” Madrid said.
“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 left the club for the first time after leading Madrid to one of its most successful runs from 2016-2018, with three consecutive Champions League titles. In his two years and five months in charge, Madrid won a total of nine trophies, including two Club World Cups, two UEFA Super Cups, one Spanish league and one Spanish Super Cup.
He only won the league title once and a Spanish Super Cup in his second stint.
He quit the first time less than a week after leading the team to its third straight Champions League title, saying it was time for a change and that he didn’t see it clearly that the club would keep winning with him in charge.
Zidane had been dismissing talks about his future recently, saying that he would discuss it with the club. He said he believed that Madrid could do well without him as coach.
Zidane’s second stint as coach began in March 2019, less than a year after he left for the first time. The team was in crisis after a disastrous season that included losses to rival Barcelona and elimination to Ajax in the round of 16 of the Champions League.
But his second run ended with Madrid enduring its least successful season since 2009-10, which was the last time it didn’t win a title.