Zinedine Zidane Leaves Real Madrid After Third Champions League Victory
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The loudest mic drop in the history of football. Winning the Champions League three times in just two-and-a-half years as a manager and then walking away, fair play Zinedine Zidane.
BREAKING: Cadena SER say Zinedine Zidane has resigned as the manager of Real Madrid. https://t.co/1mB8vdsQBm
- AS English (@English_AS) May 31, 2018
- Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) May 31, 2018
It came out of nowhere. On Thursday morning, just five days after Real Madrid won the Champions League for the third season in a row, it was announced that the manager would hold a press conference, that announcement came as a surprise.
The rumours started circulating and people wondered if the Frenchman, who won the World Cup as a superstar player, could be about to end his time at the Bernabeu after incredible success in the infancy of his senior management career. But surely not?
When 12pm GMT came around, though, the former Juventus playmaker announced that he was leaving Real Madrid effective immediately.
It came less than a week after he became the first manager to win the Champions League three times in a row when Real beat Liverpool 3-1 in the final in Kiev.
The news will come as a huge shock to the footballing world. It was only in September that the 45-year-old signed a new contract until 2020.
He had been in under pressure earlier in the season with Real struggling, miles behind rivals Barcelona, and struggling to even finish in the top four.
Of course, by the end of the season, Real finished third, just three points off second, and Zidane had seemingly avoided any possibility of being sacked by winning the Champions League again.
Thoughts will now turn to what's next for both the manager and the club.
With most of the high-profile jobs that were available this summer already taken, other than potentially Chelsea, it feels likely he could take time out of the game or take over as France boss after the World Cup.
For Real, their main target may have been Mauricio Pochettino but the Tottenham Hotspur boss recently signed a new deal in North London.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte could soon become an option but someone who has recently left a Premier League club and has previously been coveted in Madrid could be a better option.
Having left Arsenal at the end of the season, Arsene Wenger would be a good replacement, even on a short-term basis.
Who saw this coming after Saturday?