Zinedine Zidane walks away as coach of Real Madrid after back-to-back wins

World Today

The world of football has been rocked by one of the most dramatic resignations ever.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has quit just days after making history.

CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports.

Their ecstasy is now agony–on Saturday, Real Madrid fans won a third back-to- back European Champions League trophy. Now Zinedine Zidane – the coach who made it happen – is going.

He told a news conference on Thursday: “I have this club in my heart and the period that ends, it ended well when I was a player and it is going to end well now that I am coach.”

Fans are stunned.

One told the AFP news agency: “I had no idea, you just informed me now, and I think it’s dreadful that he’s leaving.”

Another added: “I’m pretty sorry because he’s given a lot for the Real Madrid, but I think he’s gone at a good time. Better he leaves now than when we go wrong and he goes out the back door.”

It seems inconceivable Real would fire arguably the greatest-ever player-turned-manager.

One of the most dazzling midfielders ever, Zidane helped turn Real into a global football powerhouse with millions of fans around the world as he lifted trophy after trophy around the turn of the millennium.

But being eclipsed by arch rivals Barcelona in Spain’s domestic league last season had fueled reports of his demise.

Zizou – as he’s affectionately known – wasn’t sure he could bring more glory for the most successful football club in history. Winning three back-to-back European cups twice has set a new standard.

“What I want is that they continue winning and I honestly think that it would have perhaps been difficult,” he told reporters.

It’s little consolation for grieving fans, but at least Zidane says he has no intention of coaching another team.