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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane steps down after winning Champions League

31 May 2018

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has shocked the football world by announcing his departure from Real Madrid on the back of becoming the first coach to win three straight UEFA Champions League titles.

After Rafa Benitez was sacked as first-team manager in January 2016, Zidane took charge and has helped the club to tremendous success.

He told Real president Florentino Perez he would be leaving on Wednesday before informing the players. "But it had to be done for everybody". After three years they need a new voice, a new way of saying things, perhaps a new way of working.

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"These players have nothing to do with my decision, it's simply something I've chosen to do". "I'm eternally grateful to him but today for me and for everyone we have to change".

"This is a lovely moment as we have just won a third straight Champions League and I have now reflected and made this decision".

"Of course, I could return, I'll always be near to this club as it's close to my heart". I tried to convince him but I know how it is. But I know it is his final decision.

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Sat alongside Real president Florentino Pérez, the World Cup victor said he felt he had taken the club as far as he could: "I have taken the decision to not continue into the next season".

In addition to the three European titles, Zidane also won six other titles with the club, including one league crown.

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Zidane's men were defeated 3-0 in the first leg of their El Clasico clash at the Bernabeu in December, but managed to avoid defeat in the second leg later in the season as they played 2-2 draw at Camp Nou.