Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has stepped down from his position after securing three Champions League titles in just two-and-a-half years in the job.

"I made the decision not to continue as coach of Real Madrid," he said at the surprise press conference announced just an hour before.


"It's a strange moment, but this team needs a change to keep winning, it needs another speech, another work methodology and that's why I made this decision."

"After winning a European Cup it is an unexpected decision," club president Florentino Perez commented. "But we can only take the decision and respect it. It made a big impact on me when I heard the decision. I would have liked to convince him [to stay] but I know how he is."

Zidane oversaw Real's 3-1 victory over Liverpool in Kyiv just last weekend, becoming the first manager in the history of the competition ever to win three consecutive European Cups - Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley are the only others to have won three at any time.

In 2016/17, his team had become the first club in the Champions League era to retain the trophy, while his first Champions League win in 2015/16 came less than five months after taking the reins from Rafa Benitez in January of that season.

The 45-year-old is also among a select group of people to have won the European Cup or Champions League as both a player and manager after his iconic volley secured the 2001/02 title for Real. Fellow Los Blancos legend Miguel Munoz is another member of that group.

Prior to being given the top job, Zidane had previously worked as an assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti, during which time the club finally won the elusive Decima. He then led Real Madrid Castilla for 18 months to further his coaching and management experience.