Zidane bids farewell to Madrid after Champions League championship

A combination of three file pictures made on May 26, 2018 shows Real Madrid's French coach Zinedine Zidane holding the UEFA Champions League trophy in (From left) 2016, 2017 and 2018. Photo: Gabriel Bouys, Franck Fife, Filippo Monteforte/ AFP

MADRID – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is leaving the European champions after two years in charge, he told a news conference on Thursday.

Zidane claimed an unprecedented third consecutive Champions League title when Real beat Liverpool 3-1 on Saturday, capping a remarkable period in his first job in senior club management.

The Frenchman took over a divided dressing room after the sacking of Rafael Benitez in January 2016 and immediately set about uniting the squad.

 

 

He claimed the first of his hat-trick of European triumphs two years ago when Real defeated local rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties in the final. A year later he led Real to their first European Cup and La Liga double in 59 years.

READ: Real Madrid lift Champions League trophy for third time in a row

Real finished three points ahead of Barcelona as they won their first league title since 2012 before crushing Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final to become the first side to win the competition in its current format in back-to-back seasons.

Zidane won nine major honours as Real coach and the 45-year-old’s crowning glory came last Saturday as he joined an elite group of managers including Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti by lifting the European Cup for the third time as coach.

Reuters

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