Real Madrid have confirmed that Zinedine Zidane has decided to step down as the club’s manager, despite still having 12 months left to run on his contract.
Goal learned of the Frenchman’s desire to walk away from the post in mid-May, with it now revealed that ties will be severed in the Spanish capital.
Zidane is bidding farewell to the Blancos’ dugout for a second time, after securing major silverware across both of his stints at the helm.
What has been said?
The Liga giants said in a statement on their official website: “Real Madrid announces that Zinedine Zidane has decided to end his current spell as coach of our club.
“It is now time to respect his decision and show him our appreciation for his professionalism, dedication and passion in all these years, and for what he represents for Real Madrid.
“Zidane is one of the great heroes of Real Madrid and his legend goes beyond what he has been as a coach and player of our club.
“He knows that he is at the heart of Real Madrid, and that Real Madrid is and will always be his home.”
Zidane’s record at Real Madrid
The World Cup winner spent the final five years of his distinguished playing career in Madrid, retiring in 2006.
He returned to Real and cut his coaching teeth with their Castilla team in 2014, before being promoted into first-team post when Rafa Benitez was sacked in January 2016, with the Blancos looking for inspiration close to home.
The Frenchman was to provide it, with his first spell delivering the Liga title and three successive Champions League crowns.
Zidane headed for another break in the summer of 2018, but was back with the Blancos by March 2019 after seeing his successors struggle.
He oversaw another domestic title triumph in 2020, but was unable to defend that prize while also missing out on more European glory in the campaign that has just come to a close.
In total, Zidane took 263 games in charge of Real, with 174 wins and just 36 defeats.
Who will be the next Real Madrid manager?
Goal has learned that Massimiliano Allegri was the preferred choice of Real’s board to step into Zidane’s shoes. He is, however, heading back to Juventus two years on from leaving the Bianconeri as a five-time Serie A title winner.
That is forcing the Blancos to look elsewhere, with there still plenty of options for them to consider.
Antonio Conte has just left a title-winning post at Inter, while Raul, who is treading the same path as Zidane as a Real legend working in the Castilla ranks, is another leading contender to take the reins despite his lack of top-level experience.
Joachim Low is about to hit the managerial market, with the 2014 World Cup winner set to step down as Germany boss after this summer’s European Championship.