“It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn't matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Zahir
Nothing stays with us forever, no matter how happy we were or how we felt about it; all things must come to an end and so did Zinedine Zidane’s career as the head coach of Real Madrid CF. Just days after claiming his third UEFA Champions League title as a manager, Zidane said in the press conference, “I have decided not to continue with Real Madrid next season. I love this club and I think it's time to stop being its coach.”
It all started in January 2016, when Zidane was promoted to be the head coach of Real’s first team from being the head coach Real Madrid Castilla and in just a few months he won his first UEFA Champions League by beating Atletis in the final on penalties. What followed after that should be one of the golden eras in 116 years of this club’s history.
In football, we don’t use the term our favourite club rather we call it our home and like every home needs a home maker Zidane was ours. After the traumas left by Rafa Benitez, Zidane held the hands of a Real Madrid side that lost all rhythm on the ground and being humiliated in the El Clasico in December 2015, the team needed someone who would make them believe in themselves again. The rest is history.
Undoubtedly one of the most successful managers in the last five years, Zidane’s departure will leave a void that couldn’t be easily filled by anyone else because being both as a footballer and manager Zidane achieved almost everything out there.
The season of 2015-16 will always be a remarkable one for Los Merengues as they rose from its own ashes like a phoenix to conquer the whole world and they did. Zidane’s first El Clasico as a manager put an end to FC Barcelona’s 39 match unbeaten run in the season. Zidane finishes off the season with Real Madrid as the runners up in La Liga, won the UEFA Champions League for the 11th time against Atletico Madrid. He became the second man to win the European Silverware both as a player and manager after Miguel Munoz.
This season began with Real Madrid defeating Espanyol at away, setting up a club record of winning 16th consecutive La Liga match. Real Madrid also won the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup by defeating the Japanese club called Kashima Antlers. It didn’t just end in there, in January 2017 after drawing with Sevilla FC in the return leg of the Copa del Rey saw Madrid became the first team to go through 40 matches undefeated. Their invincible form helped them cling on to their 33rd La Liga title. Then in June, Real Madrid beats Juventus in the 2017 UEFA Champions League final and wins their 12th European Cup (La Duodecima). A complete season, as Zidane led Real Madrid to win both the La Liga and UEFA Champions League in just matter of months.
This season began with defeating the Red Devils in the 2017 UEFA Super Cup final, making Zidane the first manager to win two consecutive Super Cups since 1990. Five days later Real Madrid went on winning the 2017 Supercopa de Espana by beating their arch rivals FC Barcelona with a 5-1 aggregate on two legs. Zidane’s success wasn’t unnoticed as he was named Best FIFA men’s Coach 2017. In December, Real Madrid defeated Gremio to win the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup two times in a row and in May, defeating Liverpool FC by 3-1 in the final El Real won their 13th UEFA Champions League trophy. With this win, Zidane became the first manager in the history of UEFA Champions League to win it three times in a row.
Have you ever seen a more complete manager?
Win %: 69.8
UEFA Champions League: 3
La Liga: 1
Spanish Super Cup: 1
UEFA Super Cup: 2
Club World Cup: 2
It is going to be a sad day for all Madristas everywhere because, Real Madrid needed more time with Zidane and he understands this. “I will be close to this club for the rest of my life. I want to thank the fans, who always supported me both as a coach and a player. There were tough moments during the season and although I was sometimes whistled at, I want to thank the fans. This is a beautiful moment as we have just won a third straight Champions League and I have now reflected and made this decision. A change is needed. I’m not going to get involved in these things. “I’m not here to talk about the future of this team,” Zidane said in his retirement announcement press conference.
And the players are as devastated as the fans and they also expressed their thoughts on their former gaffer on social media.
Here is what Tony Kroos said.
Sergio Ramos also expressed his gratitude on Twitter.
Youngster Marco Asensio also thanked Zidane on Twitter.
If you are heartbroken with this news just remember what Frank Herbert said, “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” We hope that Zinedine Zidane will be back with us in the future.