Madrid: Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is leaving the European champions after winning an unprecedented third straight Champions League title, he told a news conference on Thursday.
“I think it’s the moment, both for me, the team and the club (to step down). It’s a strange moment to do so, I know, but an important one too. I had to do this for everyone,” he said.
“This side should carry on winning and needs a change for this. After three years it needs another voice, another method of work, for this I took this decision.”
Zidane became the first coach to win a third straight European Cup when Real beat Liverpool 3-1 on Saturday, capping a remarkable period in his first job in senior club management.
“I love this club a lot, the president, who gave me everything – to play first at this great club. I’ll always be thankful. Today I need to change, for me, for everyone, for this I’ve taken the decision,” Zidane added.
The Frenchman took over a divided dressing room after the sacking of Rafael Benitez in January, 2016 and immediately set about uniting the squad.
He claimed the first of his hat-trick of European triumphs two years ago when Real defeated local rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties in the final. A year later he led Real to their first European Cup and La Liga double in 59 years.