Sport Football Zidane steps down as Real Madrid manager

Zidane steps down as Real Madrid manager

Real Madrid's president Florentino Perez with Zinedine Zidane. Photo: AAP
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Days after claiming a third consecutive Champions League title, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is leaving the European champions after two years in charge.

The Frenchman celebrated his third Champions League title as coach when Real beat Liverpool 3-1 at Kiev on Saturday, capping a remarkable period in his first job in senior club management.

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

Zidane 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.

Zidane’s third Champions League win has put him in elite company.

A year later he led Real to its first European Cup and La Liga double in 59 years.

Real finished three points ahead of Barcelona as it won its 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 in Kiev 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.