Even when it came to his departure as Real Madrid head coach, Zinedine Zidane remained a man of extreme discretion. Indeed, he kept his cards so close to his chest over his decision to leave that he even scheduled a pre-season planning meeting with his backroom team for the day of his resignation.
Zidane had arranged meeting about pre-season for yesterday
AS has learned that, following Real's Champions League victory celebrations, Zidane asked to see his assistants, physios, fitness coaches, doctors and the team's matchday delegate at 18:00 yesterday, with a view to designing the different phases of the squad's training programme ahead of the start of the new campaign.
So the 45-year-old's decision to call it a day was one that took everyone, including his closest colleagues, by surprise. On Wednesday night, they received a WhatsApp message merely informing them that the meeting was off. They could never have imagined that this was motivated by what is sure to have been a tough piece of news for them.
Some club staff believed he was going to talk Ronaldo, Bale
A clear indication of how quiet he kept his intention to quit is that it was not leaked to any media outlets and, until yesterday's press conference was called, nobody was aware of what was happening. And even after it was announced that 'Zizou' was to speak to the press, there were club employees who believed he was only going to give his take on the futures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
It was an exit brought about amid the utmost secrecy.