Real Madrid have announced that coach Zinedine Zidane has stepped down and will leave the Bernabeu with immediate effect, bringing to an end his second spell as manager.
Zidane previously quit Los Blancos in 2018 off the back of his third consecutive Champions League title, but was persuaded to return to the club just 10 months later.
Rumours of his impending second resignation have been building for several weeks but now the split has been made official.
A statement from Real read: “It is now time to respect his decision and show him our appreciation for his professionalism, dedication and passion in all these years, and for what his figure represents for Real Madrid.
“Zidane is one of the great myths of Real Madrid and his legend goes beyond what he has been as a coach and player of our club. He knows that he is at the heart of Real Madrid and that Real Madrid is and will always be his home.”
Having previously won three Champions League titles in just two and a half years in his first spell, Zidane delivered the 2019/20 La Liga title in his first full season back in charge. But Real fell short both domestically and in Europe in 2020/21 amid urgent need for a squad overhaul.
The financial climate has made that close to impossible, while reports have also suggested that Zidane had grown tired and frustrated with concessions and restrictions relating to coronavirus protocols and had lost the daily enjoyment and fun factor in the job.
Antonio Conte’s departure from Inter this week off the back of winning the club’s first Serie A title in 11 years has made the Italian a hot early favourite to replace Zidane. Massimiliano Allegri, who has taken a break from football since leaving in Juventus in 2019, is another name in the frame.