Real Madrid

Official: Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid

Real Madrid's French coach has decided to leave the Spanish giants, previously telling the directors and first team players, as confirmed on Thursday by the club.

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Zidane leaves Real Madrid with immediate effect

Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid’s coach, has decided to leave the Spanish club. Zidane, in his second spell at the club, saw his side come up just short in LaLiga this season, with Atlético Madrid holding on to win the title on the last day with a victory over Real Valladolid.

The Spanish club issued a communication on Thursday morning local time to officially confirm the news.

Rumours over Zidane's departure from Real Madrid

Rumours had abounded earlier this month that Zidane had already told his players after their league match against Sevilla that he would be leaving, something the coach and players denied. However having failed to win a trophy this season, admittedly with an ageing squad that was ravaged by injury, Zidane has now decided to call time on his second spell at the club.

The announcement from the club read as follows:

'Real Madrid C. F. announces that Zinedine Zidane has decided to bring an end to his current spell as head coach of our club.

 We must now respect his decision and express our gratitude for his professionalism, dedication and passion over the years and what he means to Real Madrid.

Zidane is one of Real Madrid’s great icons and his legacy extends beyond what he has achieved as a coach and player at our club.

He is aware that he has a place in the hearts of the Real Madrid fans and that he will always have a home at Real Madrid.'

Allegri, Conte or Raúl...

By announcing his departure to the club today, Zidane gives Real Madrid time to plan for next season, although the reality is that the directors at the Spanish outfit have been fairly certain for some time now that he would indeed leave this summer.

On that basis the club has already been scrutinising the market for a new coach, with contact being made with Allegri and Rául. The rumours linking Antonio Conte with Madrid have grown but it is Allegri who Los Blancos are lining up as first choice.

Unfortunately for the LaLiga giants, Allegri's former club Juventus appear to be winning the race to have him at the helm.