Zinedine Zidane resigns as Real Madrid manager - days after Champions League success

"I suppose the President knew [Zidane was leaving] before today, so he has for sure been getting in touch with possible coaches and getting their opinion of coming to Real Madrid". It would have been hard for me to win again next year. You saw in the Copa this season and I can't forget out domestic campaign that easily here. After three years, it's what I have made a decision to do. I do not forget the hard times, as well as the good times, and that makes you reflect. They have always respected what I've done, even when I wasn't playing well. I have to thank the fans for all their support and love. That's what the players need sometimes, when the fans actually push you it just makes you better. "I'm not going to get involved in these things", he said when asked about a possible successor.

"This is my decision, maybe I am mistaken, but after three years I see this as the moment".

The former France global, a Champions League victor with Real in 2002 also, announced his decision at a hastily-arranged press conference with president Florentino Perez on Thursday afternoon.

What a job to follow, after his three consecutive Champions League triumphs.

Zidane was locked in a meeting with club president Florentino Perez on Thursday morning, sources close to the club.

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"I know he wasn't a vocational coach; when he chose to become a coach it was to help the kids in the youth teams, and he came by surprise when Benitez was sacked".

'I wanted him to stay forever and I wanted to convince him to stay. Seeing one step down after so much success is a different look, however.

Zidane, 45, had been under pressure to win the European crown after finishing way off the pace behind La Liga winners Barcelona.

In two and a half years as a manager, Zidane has won three European Cups, the La Liga title and two Club World Cups.

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