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Thursday, 31 May 2018

BREAKING NEWS: ZIDANE STEPS DOWN AS REAL MADRID COACH


Zinedine Zidane has shocked the football world by resigning as Real Madrid coach just days after winning a third consecutive Champions League with the La Liga giants.
At a news conference scheduled at short notice on Thursday, the 45-year-old confirmed he would step down following Saturday's 3-1 victory over Liverpool in Kiev saw him become the first coach ever to lift the European Cup three years in a row.
Club president Florentino Perez, opening the news conference, said: "It is a sad day, for me, for the club, the players, everyone at this club. It is an unexpected decision -- I loved him as a player, and coach, and wanted him always at my side. But when he takes a decision the only thing we can do is respect it.
"I would have liked to convince him, but I know how he is, so the only thing I can do is offer my respect and acknowledgement, and tell him he will always be welcome here at his home.
"This is 'until soon' as I have no doubt that you will be back. Although if you need a rest, we understand that."
Zidane, 45, stepped up from his former position of Castilla youth team coach in January 2016, and has finished each season since by lifting the Champions League trophy, while also clinching the 2016-17 La Liga title along with two Club World Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and one Spanish Super Cup.
That was questioned midway through the 2017-18 campaign, as Madrid lost December's Clasico 3-0 at home as Barcelona eased to the La Liga title, and Los Blancos were also embarrassingly knocked out of the Copa del Rey at the Bernabeu by Leganes.
Progress in the Champions League past major rivals Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich and then Saturday's win in Kiev -- which extended Madrid's record of European Cup triumphs to 13 -- had appeared to ensure the Frenchman would continue in the job, and Perez had always backed his manager in public.
Cracks in his relationship with Perez had appeared during a midseason disagreement over whether to sign young Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, while Zidane himself had always spoken about how he knew no Madrid coach was guaranteed the job long-term and that the summer was likely to bring some changes at the club.
Who takes over? 

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