When Zinedine Zidane came back to Real Madrid in the middle of the 2018-19 season, he witnessed that the Los Blancos had lost everything – their strong foothold in the Champions League was ended by Ajax at the Santiago Bernabeu while in La Liga, they were cutting a sorry figure. There was no one in the team like Cristiano Ronaldo to deliver 50 to 60 goals in a season, the rest of the players were lacking in confidence heavily and some of the new signings went heavily wrong.

He rejoined as the captain of the ship that was sinking and two seasons later, the captain left the ship after steering them to the shores with the sense of a lot of self-belief, fighting spirit, and all-round qualities.

Real Madrid have announced that Zinedine Zidane has decided to leave his role as head coach with immediate effect.

The World Champion brings an end to his second stint in charge of Los Blancos after returning to the job in March 2019.

Also read: Be proud Real Madrid  

“It’s time to respect his decision and show him our thanks for his professionalism, dedication, and passion over the years, which is what his figure represents at Real Madrid,” the club’s statement read.

“Zidane is one of Real Madrid’s great icons and his legend goes further than what he’s done as a coach and player of this club.”

“He knows that he’s in the hearts of Real Madrid fans and that Real Madrid is and will always be his home.”

Zidane returned for his second spell in charge of Real Madrid on March 11, 2019 – 284 days after resigning as boss after his third Champions League triumph as a coach.

Since returning, the former midfielder has guided Los Blancos to a La Liga Santander title and a Supercopa de Espana victory.

 

However, after a difficult season that has ended without silverware at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, Zidane has decided to step aside.

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid as the most successful coach in their entire history, drawing his second stint in charge to a close.

Only Miguel Munoz won more trophies (14) than Zidane’s haul of 11, with the Frenchman reaching his tally in 342 fewer games as boss.

Indeed, only Munoz’stotal of 605 matches in charge of Real Madrid is greater than Zidane’s263 across his two spells in the dugout.

That means Zidane has won a trophy every 23 games for Real Madrid, giving him the best ratio of any coach in their history.

The World Champion departs having won 174, drawn 53, and lost 36 of his 263 matches in charge, giving him a win percentage of 66pc. Even this season, Real Madrid put together an 18-game unbeaten run in La Liga.

Zidane will always be remembered for the three successive Champions League trophies he won during his first stint in charge.

And, in his second stint, he would be remembered for his fighting qualities despite the troubles he faced.

At the start of the 2019-20 season, the state of the Los Blancos was not sound with arch-rivals Barcelona leading the points table most of the season.

In fact, before the COVID-19 pandemic halted La Liga’s season mid-way, Real Madrid had dropped points in 11 games with eight draws and three losses.

However, while the Catalans were unable to carry their momentum since the league restart – dropping points against Celta Vigo, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid – the Sergio Ramos-inspired Real Madrid carved out hard-fought wins (10 victories in a row) and pulled off a classic comeback that will be remembered for ages.

Real’s first crown in the post-Cristiano Ronaldo era saw the side losing just thrice in the entire season and drawing eight times as Zidane proved his mettle yet again by delivering Real Madrid their first title since 2017.

“The Champions League is the Champions League but La Liga makes me happier because La Liga is what it’s all about. This is a tremendous feeling because what these players have done is incredible. I am lost for words because I am too emotional,” said Zidane after winning the 34th La Liga title.

 

Tougher challenges were waiting for Zidane in 2020-21 season – COVID and injuries ravaged Real Madrid, still, the World Champion kept the fight alive till the last day of the season, where his boys ended up with a victory over Villarreal, but Atletico Madrid’s win over Real Valladolid denied the Royal Whites of another glory.

After a long time, Real Madrid ended up without winning a trophy in a single season – it was hard to accept, but above all, critics applauded the way Zidane fought adversities and took the title race down the wire.

62 injuries and COVID attacks resulted in lacking the services of major players and thus he amalgamated his plans in terms of tactics and innovated with players in various positions that helped in developing their all-round qualities – certainly players like Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes, Lucas Vazquez, Fede Valverde, Nacho Fernandez, and Eder Militao would always be thankful to Zidane who backed them during a tough season and helped them in nurturing their confidence and skill.

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The World Champion has left a squad that knows how to fight and display their all-round qualities under any circumstances. And for which, Real Madrid would always be grateful to Zidane in the coming days.

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