Zidane steps down as Real Madrid manager | Ralph Lauren

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Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as Real Madrid coach with immediate effect, five days after his team were pipped to the La Liga title by city rivals Atletico Madrid.

The Frenchman led Real to two league titles and three Champions League triumphs in two spells as coach since 2016.

But he leaves the club after their first trophy-less season in more than a decade.

Zidane had a contract through June 2022.

“We must now respect his decision and express our gratitude for his professionalism, dedication and passion over the years and what he means to Real Madrid,” the club said in a statement.

“Zidane is one of Real Madrid’s great icons and his legacy extends beyond what he has achieved as a coach and player at our club.

“He is aware that he has a place in the hearts of the Real Madrid fans and that he will always have a home at Real Madrid.”

Zidane left the club for the first time after leading Madrid to one of its most successful runs from 2016-2018, with three consecutive Champions League titles.

In his two years and five months in charge, Madrid won a total of nine trophies, including two Club World Cups, two UEFA Super Cups, one Spanish league and one Spanish Super Cup.

He only won the league title once and a Spanish Super Cup in his second stint.

He quit the first time less than a week after leading the team to its third straight Champions League title, saying it was time for a change and that he didn’t see it clearly that the club would keep winning with him in charge.

Zidane had been dismissing talks about his future recently, saying that he would discuss it with the club.

He said he believed that Madrid could do well without him as coach.

Zidane had to deal with a series of setbacks in his squad because of injuries.

It was without captain Sergio Ramos for nearly the entire second half of the season, and he also couldn’t count much on Eden Hazard.

Other key players who were not available for extended periods included Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio.

Zidane struggled to put together a consistent starting lineup, and he often tried to switch schemes between matches.

A move to a 3-5-2 formation worked well in some games but failed miserably in others, giving him little confidence to set up his teams.

In addition to Zidane’s departure, there’s also doubt about whether Ramos will return, and major signings are not likely as the club continues to struggle financially amid the coronavirus pandemic.



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