Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane explains decision to leave Real Madrid in damning open letter

Tom Gott
Zinedine Zidane felt disrespected at Real Madrid
Zinedine Zidane felt disrespected at Real Madrid / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has penned an open letter to the club's supporters to explain the reasons for his departure from the Santiago Bernabeu.

There had been weeks of reports suggesting Zidane was growing tired of life at Real, and despite the boss' best attempts to deny the rumours, he eventually confirmed them by announcing his exit shortly after missing out on the La Liga title.

Zidane had stayed quiet up until this point, but in an open letter published by AS, he spilled the beans on his decision and confessed he did not feel he was getting the respect he deserved by those above him at Real.

"I'm going, but I'm not jumping off the boat and I'm not tired of training," he wrote. "In May 2018, I left because after two-and-a-half years with so many victories and trophies, I felt that the team needed a new discourse to stay on top. Today, things are different.

"I am leaving because I feel that the club no longer gives me the confidence I need, it does not offer me the support to build something in the medium or long-term. I know football and I know the demands of a club like Real, I know that when you don't win you have to go. But here, one very important thing has been forgotten - what I did on a daily basis, what I contributed to the players, to the 150 people who work with and around the team.

"I am a born winner and I was here to win trophies, but what's more important is human beings, emotions and life, and I have the feeling that these things have not been valued, that they have not been understood. In a way, I have been reproached."

Zidane then went on to voice his frustrations towards the constant media leaks about his future, blaming both club officials and journalists for striving to damage him.

"I want to respect what we have done together, I would have liked my relationship with the club and with the president in recent months to have been a little different from that of other coaches," he continued. "I wasn't asking for privileges, of course not, but a little more memory.

"Today, coaches at a great club get two seasons, not much more. To last longer, human relations are essential, more important that money, fame or anything else. You have to take care of them. That's why it hurt a lot when I read in the press after every defeat that they were going to sack me if I didn't win the next game.

"It hurt me and the whole team because these messages, which were intentionally leaked to the media, created a negative atmosphere, doubts and misunderstandings. It's good that I had some wonderful guys who would fight to the death with me. When things got ugly, they saved me with great victories because they believed in me and they knew I believed in them.

Zinedine Zidane
Zidane reaffirmed his love of the club / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

"Of course, I'm not the best coach in the world, but I am capable of giving the strength and confidence that everyone needs in their work. I know exactly what a team needs. Throughout these 20 years at Real, I have learned that you, the fans, want to win, but above all you want us to give everything. And I can assure you that we have given 100% of ourselves to the club.

"Dear Madridistas, I will always be one of you."

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