Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has decided to resign as manager, the Spanish side have confirmed.
The decision was reportedly made on Wednesday after Zidane had asked the Spanish side for a few days to consider his future. He confirmed the move to Madrid’s board, and then the squad.
Real beat Villarreal 2-1 in their final match of the La Liga season on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to overtake rivals Atletico Madrid, who secured a 2-1 comeback win at Real Valladolid to claim the trophy.
Speaking after that game, Zidane said he was “p***ed off” at failing to retain the title and would hold discussions with the club “in the next few days” to determine the way forward.
Fabrizo Romano was the first to report Zidane’s resignation late on Wednesday. In recent months, the Real coach had refused to commit to remaining in the job next campaign, leading to speculation that he was planning to leave.
“You might think I walk away from responsibility or leave when things get complicated, but no, never,” Zidane said on May 15 when quizzed on his future.
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“What I do is give everything, to the end, and then the moment comes to change… I don’t leave because it’s easy. There are moments when you have to stay, and others when you have to go.”
Zidane had also dismissed reports that he had informed his players of his intention to leave, calling them “a lie.”
“How am I going to say to the players that I’m leaving now? We’re fighting for the league, and I say that I’m going? Why would I say that? At the end of the season we’ll see what happens,” he said after Madrid’s 1-0 victory at Athletic Bilbao on May 16.
“It’s time to respect his decision and show him our thanks for his professionalism, dedication and passion over the years, which is what his figure represents at Real Madrid,” the club’s statement read.
“Zidane is one of Real Madrid’s great icons and his legend goes further than what he’s done as a coach and player of this club.
“He knows that he’s in the hearts of Real Madrid fans and that Real Madrid is and will always be his home.”