Zinedine Zidane has resigned as Real Madrid manager with immediate effect – according to media reports – just days after the club failed to retain their La Liga title.
Real missed out on the title as Atletico Madrid held onto their slender lead going into the final day of the Spanish league season.
The Frenchman’s reported departure comes at the end of a disappointing campaign for the 13-time European champions, who lost to Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League semifinals.
This was the first time Madrid failed to win a trophy for in 11 seasons!
Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano broke what he called “exclusive” news in a tweet that was picked up by Spanish sports outlets including renowned Madrid sports newspapers Marca and AS, and the radio station Cadena Ser.
An official announcement of his departure would be made “in the next hours/days”, said Romano.
Less than two weeks ago Zidane, whose contract runs until 2022, denied media speculation that he had already told his players that he would be leaving at the end of the season.
“How am I going to tell my players that I am going now? It’s a lie,” he said after a 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao.
“I focus on this season. There is a game left and we are going to give everything. I only care what happens in this finale.”
But he added: “The rest, we will see at the end of the season.”
If confirmed, it marks the end of Zidane’s second spell in charge of the Spanish giants.
The 1998 World Cup winner first took charge of the club he played for in January 2016 and guided Real Madrid to the 2017 La Liga title and an unprecedented hat-trick of Champions League titles before abruptly quitting on 31st May 2018.
He returned in 2019 to win a second La Liga crown as manager and the Spanish Super Cup in 2020 but his ultimate goal was winning the Champions League again.