Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid exit due to lack of trust and media leaks in attack on club president

The club legend, who returned to Real for a second spell in charge in March 2019, won two La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns during his two stints as coach but stepped down last week after the club’s first trophyless season in 11 years

In an open letter published in sports daily AS, Zidane has blamed a lack of “trust” in him and “messages leaked to the media” for his decision to quit for a second time.

“I’m leaving, but I’m not abandoning ship and I’m not tired of coaching,” Zidane said. “In May 2018 I left because after two and a half years, with so many victories and so many trophies, I felt that the team needed something new to stay on top.

“Today things are different. I’m leaving because I feel the club is no longer giving me the trust I need, it isn’t offering me the support to build something medium-to-long-term.

“I know the demands at a club like Madrid, I know that when you don’t win you have to go. But a very important thing has been forgotten here… I’m a born winner and I was here to win trophies, but beyond that are human beings, emotions, life, and I have the feeling that these things haven’t been valued.”

Zidane oversaw three successive Champions League wins during his first spell in charge, before resigning and then returning 10 months later.

However, this season Zidane could only finish second in La Liga, behind Madrid rivals Atletico, was knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals and suffering a humiliating Copa del Rey exit in the round of 32 to third division minnows Alcoyano.

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“I want what we’ve done together to be respected,” he continued. “I would have liked my relationship with the club and the president in recent months to have been a little different from that of other coaches.

“I wasn’t asking for privileges, of course not, but rather a bit more memory. Today the life of a coach on the bench of a great club is two seasons, not much more. For it to last longer, human relationships are essential.

“That’s why it hurt me a lot when I read in the press, after a defeat, that they were going to sack me if I didn’t win the next game. It hurt me and the whole team because these messages, intentionally leaked to the media, created negative interference with the staff, they created doubts and misunderstandings.”

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