Reaction to Zidane's Real Madrid exit

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Zinedine Zidane left Real Madrid on Thursday afternoon and aside from the indelible mark he left on their trophy cabinet, he also showed them what sort of boss is needed to succeed at such a hard, high profile club.

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.

"The decision was first to Florentino, then to the squad it was a odd decision but an important moment, it had to be done for everybody. It's a club I love and I love the president too, he brought me to this huge club and I will always be grateful, but I think a change is needed so I will not be here next season". I think at times the players need it, when you have a hard time you have to front up occasionally.

He had been at the club just over two years, where he led them to three Champions League and a La Liga title.

At the press conference, Zidane said: "This is my decision. All I can offer is my love and respect and remind him that this is his home".

Zidane replaced Rafa Benitez after a stint with Madrid's "B" team. But the decision, for many, doesn't make sense.

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His decision to leave just five days after a third Champions League victory, however, has shocked fans.

I have No words to thank you for everything you've done for this shirt, Real Madrid and the Madrid fans. I am not exhausted of coaching, after three years.

"It was a completely unexpected decision", Madrid president Florentino Perez said.

Madrid sports daily AS said after the final that Zidane was "the architect of this glorious and possibly unrepeatable era".

The French coach made a decision to throw in the towel after winning an unprecedented third consecutive Champions League trophy last weekend. "I am really curious to know who will be their next manager". I think it is the right one but I completely understand any reaction.

Zidane spoke little about his future but said he is not immediately looking to coach another club.