Zinedine Zidane resigns as Real Madrid manager: Report
In a major development, Zinedine Zidane has decided to resign as the manager of Real Madrid. Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano informed about the development on Twitter. As per reports, Zidane made the decision on Wednesday, after he had asked the club for a few days to consider his future. It was earlier reported that he will resign after the completion of the season.
Interestingly, Zidane had denied the claims of his resignation before Real Madrid's final game of La Liga season. Although Real beat Villarreal 2-1 in their final game, that wasn't enough to overtake rivals Atletico Madrid on the points table. Real missed out on a La Liga title as Atletico Madrid were crowned champions after beating Valladolid on the final matchday.
Earlier this month, Zidane gave hints about his departure. "You might think I walk away from responsibility, but no, never," Zidane had said on May 15. "What I do is give everything, to the end, and then the moment comes to change. I don't leave because it's easy. There are moments when you have to stay, and others when you have to go."
Zidane had a contract with Real until 2022. However, the team management was, reportedly, making plans for his early departure. Their Champions League elimination by Chelsea was believed to be one of the major reasons behind his exit. It was reported Zidane had informed the players about his decision to depart prior to the game against Sevilla, that ended in a 2-2 draw.
"How could I tell the players I am leaving now? We are giving our everything for the title and I just say 'by the way, I am off'?" Zidane had said. "People outside the club can say whatever they like, but I would never, ever say that to my players. There is a game left and we are going to give everything."
This was the second stint of Zidane as Real Madrid manager. Earlier, he helped the side win three consecutive Champions League titles from 2016 to 2018 before leaving. He rejoined the club in March 2019 after Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari failed to get the desired results as managers. Zidane's appointment was deemed fruitful as Real won La Liga title in July 2020.
Former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri and Real Madrid Castilla manager Raul Gonzalez are the front-runners to replace Zidane. One of the most decorated Real Madrid players, Raul, has plenty of experience in managing the reserve team. On the other hand, Massimiliano has won Serie A titles with AC Milan and Juventus. He has been without a club after parting ways with Juventus in 2019.