Zinedine Zidane has quit as Real Madrid boss five days after guiding them to his third Champions League title in a row.
The now former Real Madrid head coach became the first manager in history to win the competition three times in a row when they beat Liverpool in Saturday’s final 3-1 in Kiev.
The World Cup-winning footballer told a news conference that he felt it was the right time to leave the club, having never been knocked out Europe’s top competition during three years in charge.
He said: “I think it’s the moment, both for me, the team and the club (to step down). It’s a strange moment to do so, I know, but an important one too. I had to do this for everyone.
“This side should carry on winning and needs a change for this. After three years it needs another voice, another method of work, for this I took this decision.”
In his first job in senior club management, Zidane won nine major honours with the 45-year-old’s crowning glory coming last Saturday when he joined an elite group of managers including Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti by lifting the European Cup for the third time as coach.
“I love this club a lot, the president, who gave me everything – to play first at this great club. I’ll always be thankful. Today I need to change, for me, for everyone, for this I’ve taken the decision,” Zidane added.
After retiring from a glittering football career with Real, Juventus and Bordeaux in 2006, Zidane took over the Real Madrid B team in 2014, before replacing Rafael Benitez as first team coach in January 2016.
He claimed the first of his hat-trick of European triumphs two years ago when Real defeated local rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties in the final. A year later he led Real to their first European Cup and La Liga double in 59 years.
Real finished three points ahead of Barcelona as they won their first league title since 2012 before crushing Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final to become the first side to win the competition in its current format in back-to-back seasons.
According to betting website Oddschecker former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is favourite to take over from Zidane, followed by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, former Real player Guti, and Spurs’ Mauricio Pochettino.