Zinedine Zidane steps down as Real Madrid manager after third consecutive Champions League success

Zinedine Zidane steps down as Real Madrid manager after third consecutive Champions League success

The Frenchman leaves the club after winning nine trophies since he took charge in January 2016.

Chris Lincoln

Less than a week after Real Madrid defeated Liverpool to win their third successive Champions League trophy, Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as manager after a whirlwind 15 months in charge.

A trophy every 16.5 games

Zidane's record in Madrid speaks for itself. He won nine trophies during the short spell, lifting silverware every 16.5 games. Not one season has passed by without Zidane's Real being crowned Kings of Europe and he has also won La Liga during that timeframe.

Yet it is the Frenchman's domestic record that has come under scrutiny this season. After winning the league last year, Real have failed to live up to the expectations this season. A poor start to a campaign that saw them drop off the pace put Zidane under pressure, despite his impressive European record.

Even when the sides took to the field in Kiev last week, there was an overwhelming suspicion that the man who won six trophies as a player with Real Madrid was under pressure...win or lose. Real finished their league campaign 17 points behind Barcelona and were beaten to second by their local rivals Atletico Madrid.

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"I think it needs a change"

Despite proving their quality on the European stage for a 13th time in the club's history, there is a feeling of transition at the Bernabeu. Post-match interviews after the Champions League success pointed to possible departures for superstar names such as Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

As Zidane stepped down from his position he emphasised the need for change. Speaking to a stunned selection of the media from across the globe, Zidane explained, "what I think is that this team needs to continue winning but I think it needs a change. A different voice, another methodology. And that's why I took this decision."

Yet the decision was described as "unexpected" by Real president Florentino Perez who claimed that Zidane only "informed me of his choice yesterday".

Who is next?

Zidane leaves Madrid with three Champions League trophies, two Super Cups, as many Club World Cups and a La Liga and Supercopa de Espana to his name. Despite such a short time at the Bernabeu, Zidane lifted more Champions League silverware than Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson have achieved in their entire careers thus far.

The 1998 World Cup winner leaves with a record of 104 victories in 149 matches.

Meanwhile, Perez and Real will set about finding a replacement with Massimiliano Allegri and Arsene Wenger expected to be considered for the position.