Zinedine Zidane has announced that he is stepping down as Real Madrid boss, five days after leading them to a third straight Champions League triumph.
The French legend quits the club having guided them to three successive Champions League titles and one La Liga success in just two and half years in charge.
In a hastily scheduled news conference Thursday, Zidane said “I love this club”, but added “everything changes”.
“What I think is that this team needs to continue winning but I think it needs a change, a different voice, another methodology. And that’s why I took this decision.”
Zidane, 45, took over after Rafael Benitez was sacked and was in charge for 149 games, achieving a 69.8% win rate, leading to nine trophies.
The timing of his announcement still came as a shock just days after Real beat Liverpool 3-1 in the Champions League final.
Club president Florentino Perez, who accompanied Zidane to the press conference, said: “It’s a strange moment to do so, I know, but an important one too,” he added on Thursday. “I had to do this for everyone.”
Following his exit, Los Blancos are now looking for their fourth manager in five years, with Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri and former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in the frame.