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Zinedine Zidane has quit as Real Madrid manager days after he won his third consecutive Champions League title – and says he will take a break from the game.
Despite being the first and only manager to win the Champions League three times in a row after a 3-1 victory over Liverpool, the club have stuttered domestically.
He said Real “need a different voice” and told a press conference that “everything changes” following last weekend’s achievements in Kiev.
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“I love this club,” he added. “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.
“I’m not going to coach another team right now. I’m not looking for another team. It’s not as simple as just staying. I think it would be difficult to keep winning if I stayed.
“I am not staying but it’s not a sad day for me, it’s a ‘hasta pronto’ a ‘see you soon’ not a goodbye.
“This relationship isn’t going to change, not for anything.”
Zidane oversaw Real’s 2016-17 success in La Liga, but failed to win the league either side of that triumph.
Barcelona, historically Real’s greatest rivals, ran away with La Liga this season and finished 17 points clear of Zidane’s side.
Real Madrid could only finish third on 76 points, and were out of the running for the title early in the season.
Zidane’s unparalleled success in the Champions League has been unable to shield him from criticism, and there has long been speculation that Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has been lined up to replace him.
Antonio Conte has been mentioned as he is expected to leave Chelsea this summer.
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Zidane may not be the only big-name exit at the Bernabeu. He was non-committal after Gareth Bale said he was considering his future in the Spanish capital.
Cristiano Ronaldo also confirmed he was unsure over his future immediately after the Champions League final.
Real Madrid have been linked with moves for Neymar Jr at Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski as part of the rebuilding process due in the summer under president Florentino Perez.