"This the right moment to end things well."
Zinedine Zidane has unexpectedly announced that he will not be returning as head coach of Real Madrid, just days after the team's 3-1 victory over Liverpool for the Champions League title. Zidane, who joined Real Madrid in 2016, is the first coach ever to capture the Champions League trophy three years in a row.
At a news conference on Thursday, the 45-year-old coach said, "I have made the decision to not continue next year as manager of Real Madrid. This is a strange moment but a very important moment. And I had to do this for everyone. This team must continue winning and it needs a change that will be good for everyone."
"There are difficult moments when you can wonder whether you are the right person still. I do not forget the hard times, as well as the good times, and that makes you reflect. And this is the right moment. The players need a change, I want to thank them too, as in the end they are the ones who fight on the pitch. This is a demanding club, not easy for them, with this great history. We always want more from the players, and a moment comes when I cannot ask them for more. They need another voice to return to winning again."
He added, "There are many reasons for this. I am not tired of coaching after three years. But it is the moment to [leave] here. ... I am not going to coach another team [right away]."
In addition to the three straight Champions League titles, Zidane also led Real Madrid to two Club World Cups, two UEFA Super Cups, one Spanish Super Cup and the 2016-17 La Liga title.