Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane to leave Real Madrid with immediate effect

By Sean Walsh
Zidane is leaving Real Madrid again
Zidane is leaving Real Madrid again / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane will leave his role as head coach of Real Madrid for the second time in the last three years.

The former Real and France midfielder has been the subject of intense speculation regarding his future in recent weeks, and now it appears that he will be leaving the club.

Fabrizio Romano reported late on Wednesday night that Zidane will leave Madrid with immediate effect, and a club statement is expected shortly.

The French icon is in his second spell as Madrid boss after initially taking over in 2016 from Rafa Benitez.

He went on to win the Champions League three times in a row - a record since the competition rebranded from the European Cup in 1992 - as well as one La Liga title.

Zidane initially left in 2018 and was replaced by then-Spain boss Julen Lopetegui, but he was dismissed just months into the job.

Former Madrid player Santiago Solari took over on an interim basis, before Zidane decided to return to his post in 2019.

He hasn't been as successful in his second stint as head coach, failing to advance beyond the semi-finals of the Champions League. However, Madrid did win La Liga at the end of the lengthened 2019/20 season.

Zinedine Zidane head Coach
Real Madrid fell short of expectations this season / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Los Blancos fell short this time around, being pipped to the title by city rivals Atletico on the final day of the season, and speculation over Zidane's future dominated headlines in the last few weeks of the campaign.

But now the cat is out of the bag and news of Zidane's departure has been all but confirmed.

Speculation has already begun over who will succeed Zidane in the Spanish capital, with Antonio Conte back on the managerial market after his contract was terminated by Inter earlier on Wednesday.