With the success in Kiev barely in the rear view mirror, Real Madrid have been rocked by Zinedine Zidane’s decision to resign as the club’s coach, and the Frenchman has given his reasons for his surprise departure.
A hastily arranged press conference occurred on Thursday afternoon where the club’s second most successful coach made clear his intention to depart.
“After three years, I think it’s time to leave, it’s difficult to continue coaching after that length of time,” he explained to the gathered media.
“I didn’t see clearly that we’re going to continue winning definitely.
“There comes a moment when you believe that it’s better to make a change, so as not to stay too long and make mistakes.”
Many have called into question the Frenchman’s true motives, even suggesting another job is in his sights, because of how recently he claimed he was staying, yet the former Juventus midfielder quickly put paid to such speculation.
“I’m not looking for another team, nothing has changed for me, it’s just a natural decision,” he detailed.
“When I said in February that I wasn’t thinking about leaving, I said it with sincerity.
“I said that in this club, things can end in the matter of moments, it’s been three years and my time here is over, there are difficult moments within seasons and they make you think.”
Los Blancos were plunged into crisis by comments made by both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the immediate aftermath of their Champions League success in Kiev, but the 45-year-old maintains no such conflicts have influenced his own decision to leave.
“No, not at all, these matters don’t have anything to do with it,” he intimated.
“The players need a change, there comes a time when you can’t ask your players to give you any more.
“They need to hear a new voice, they know my decision and I will talk to the captains about it from here, I’ve already spoken with Sergio Ramos.”