Zidane steps down as Real Madrid coach
MADRID, May 31, 2018 (News Wires) - Zinedine Zidane has decided to stand down as Real Madrid manager after leading the club to three Champions League titles in two-and-a-half seasons in charge.
Zidane revealed his decision in a hastily-arranged press conference in the Spanish capital on Thursday. President Florentino Perez appeared alongside him and revealed it was an "unexpected decision".
"I have taken the decision not to continue next year," Zidane told the media.
"I love this club and the president who gave me the chance to play for this club and manage the club of my dreams. But everything changes and that's why I've taken the decision to leave."
Zidane took over at Real Madrid following the sacking of Rafa Benitez in January 2016 and won three successive Champions League titles, as well as the Liga title in 2016-17.
The Frenchman also lead Madrid to back-to-back European Super Cups and Club World Cups in 2016 and 2017.
Perez said: "This was a totally unexpected decision and today is a sad day for me and for everyone who works for this club.
"We must thank him for his care and passion for Real Madrid over these years. "The only thing I want to say is 'hasta pronto' because I know he will return, maybe after a rest."
Zidane said his association with Madrid may not be at an end. During his five-year playing career at Madrid between 2001 and 2006, Zidane won the Champions League in 2002 and La Liga in 2003. As assistant to Carlo Ancelotti, he was on the bench in Lisbon when Madrid secured La Decima in 2014.
"Like I told the president it could be a 'see you soon' because Madrid has given me everything," Zidane added.
As to his future plans, Zidane said he was not looking to rush back into management.