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Zidane opens up on Madrid exit: Club no longer had faith in me

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Berlin (STATS Perform/dpa) – Zinedine Zidane revealed he left La Liga giants Real Madrid as the «club no longer has the faith in me I need».

Zidane called time on his second coaching spell with Madrid after Los Blancos were dethroned by city rivals Atletico Madrid in La Liga this past season.

The 48-year-old Frenchman returned to the Santiago Bernabeu in March 2019, having delivered three successive Champions League titles and one LaLiga trophy between January 2016 and May 2018.

While Zidane led Madrid to La Liga glory in 2019-20, the Spanish capital side endured a difficult 2020-21 campaign – eliminated by minnows Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey, edged out by Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals, and pipped to back-to-back La Liga trophies by Atletico.

Zidane lifted the lid on his Madrid exit via an open letter published on Monday as the club reportedly eye former Inter boss Antonio Conte, Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino and Raul as replacements.

«I’m leaving because I feel the club no longer has the faith in me I need, nor the support to build something in the medium or long term,» Diario AS quoted Zidane as saying in the letter.

«I understand football and I know the demands of a club like Real Madrid. I know when you don’t win, you have to leave. But with this a very important thing has been forgotten, everything I built day-to-day has been forgotten, what I brought to my relationships with the players, with the 150 people who work with and around the team.

«I’m a natural-born winner and I was here to win trophies, but even more important than this are the people, their feelings, life itself and I have the sensation these things have not been taken into account, that there has been a failure to understand that these things also keep the dynamics of a great club going. To some extent I have even been rebuked for it.

«I want there to be respect for what we have achieved together. I would have liked my relationship with the club and the president over the past few months to have been a little different to that of other coaches. I wasn’t asking for privileges, of course not, just a little more recollection.

«These days the life of a coach in the dugout at a big club is two seasons, little more. For it to last longer the human relationships are essential, they are more important than money, more important than fame, more important than everything. They need to be nurtured. That’s why it hurt me so much when I read in the press, after a defeat, that I would be sacked if I didn’t win the next game. It hurt me and the whole team because these deliberately leaked messages to the media negatively influenced the squad, they created doubts and misunderstandings.»

 

 

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