MADRID: Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as Real Madrid coach with immediate effect five days after his team were pipped to the La Liga title by city rivals Atletico Madrid, the Spanish club said on Thursday.
The Frenchman led Real to two league titles and three Champions League triumphs in two spells as coach since 2016.
“Real Madrid announces that Zinedine Zidane has decided to bring an end to his current spell as coach of our club,” said Real’s statement.
“Now’s the time to respect his decision and show our respect and gratitude for his professionalism, dedication and passion in the last few years and for what he represents for Real Madrid.”
“Zidane is one of Real Madrid’s all-time greats and his legend goes beyond what he has done as a coach and player for our club. He knows that he is always in the heart of the club`s supporters and that Real Madrid will always be his home.”
Official Announcement: Zinedine Zidane.#RealMadrid
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) May 27, 2021
Real finished second in the standings, two points behind Atletico, and were knocked out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage and the Copa del Rey in the round of 32 to end the season without a trophy for the first time in 11 years.
Zidane returned to Real Madrid in March 2019, replacing Santiago Solari, and won his second La Liga title in the Covid-affected 2019-20 season. In his first stint at the club from January 2016 to May 2018, Zidane won three Champions League titles and the 2016-17 Spanish league.