Sunday, January 24, 2021

Zinedine Zidane resigns as manager of Real Madrid

It was widely speculated this morning that Zinedine Zidane would be calling an end to his time as Real Madrid manager, after requesting an emergency press meeting at 12:10pm GMT. It was at this press conference Zidane announced that he had resigned from his role with immediate effect, going on to say “The team needs to continue winning, and needs a change”.

There have been a number of hints in recent months from Zidane that he may be thinking about quitting the Bernabeu. After confirming that he had signed an extension to keep him in charge at the club until 2020 in January, the Frenchman then also went on to say that the deal “does not mean anything”. In February he then followed up on this statement, saying “Being a coach is extremely tiring – more so at a club like Real Madrid. When I feel there is nothing more to give, I will walk away.”

Club President Florentino Perez admitted after Zinedine Zidane’s announcement that the club had not been expecting this decision, and therefore do not have a clear idea on who his successor is going to be.

Zinedine Zidane goes before he was pushed?

Zinedine Zidane
© PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images

It is a worrying time for the Spanish giants. Zidane was very much a handpicked manager, brought in to manage ‘Real Madrid Castilla’ for two years before replacing Rafael Benitez in early 2016. There have also been rumours lately that both Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are both contemplating a move away from Madrid.

Zinedine Zidane leaves the club on a high after winning his third successive Champions League trophy, becoming the first manager to do so in the Champions League era. He also won La Liga in the 2016-17 season, however failed to retain the title this season.

Time will tell what comes next for Zidane, with some very early speculation linking him to Chelsea. As for Real Madrid, while there are a handful of top quality managers on the market at the moment, it very much remains a question as to which direction the are going to turn in. Current favourites with Sky Bet are Arsene Wenger (2/1), Antonio Conte (4/1) and Mauricio Pochettino (6/1)

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