Zinedine Zidane exit: The news that Zinedine Zidane was going to step down as Real Madrid manager just five days after winning the Champions League brought a shock to many as it filtered through around the world yesterday.
But not to Sergio Ramos and not because he was informed about Zidane‘s departure by the man himself a day earlier. The Madrid captain had a feeling this could be in the pipeline a long time before.
Three months ago after Madrid’s Champions League win over Paris-Saint Germain, Ramos dropped a hint the Frenchman could be on his way out at the end of the season.
‘Perhaps he will win the Champions League again and then want a break, that is a possibility,’ Ramos said after Madrid’s 3-1 win in the first leg of their last-16 tie. ‘Everyone takes for granted that if he wins it then he’ll stay but he might want to have a rest for a little bit, you never know.’ And that, as it were, was the official line Zidane used as his reasoning for quitting. He was tired and needed a rest.
Suggestions were made that it was nothing to do with being exhausted and more to do with the fact his blueprint for Real was wildly at odds with that of the hierarchy, particularly in terms of transfers this summer.
But those doubts were quickly dispelled when Zidane reiterated he wants a break from football and will not be looking for another job.
The 45-year-old leaves the most trophy-laden period in the club’s modern history in his wake, having won nine during his two-and-a-half years in charge.
Ramos led the tributes to the departing boss yesterday with a post on Twitter.
He wrote: ‘As a player and coach you decided to say goodbye at the top. Thank you for two-and-a-half incredible years. Your legacy will never be erased, one of the most successful chapters in the history of our beloved @realmadrid.’
As a player and coach you decided to say goodbye at the top. Thank you for two and a half incredible years. Your legacy will never be erased, one of the most successful chapters in the history of our beloved @realmadrid pic.twitter.com/dO6bw74aA3
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) May 31, 2018