The end to the current La Liga season just got even more dramatic with news emerging from Spain that Real Madrid boss, Zinedine Zidane, having told his players that he will be leaving the club at the end of the current season.
🚨🚨| Zidane has told the players that he's LEAVING the club. Confirmed by the reliable @MarioCortegana. #rmalive
— Madrid Zone (@theMadridZone) May 15, 2021
With Los Blancos currently in second and two points behind arch-rivals Atletico Madrid, the news is set to mark the end of the title race in even more dramatic fashion.
The Frenchman’s second tenure in charge of the club has been less successful than the lofty standards he achieved during his first spell. Though Madrid won the title last year, that came on the back of a spectacular loss in form by Barcelona after the suspended season got underway. They were knocked out of the Champions League in the round-of-16 by Manchester City, which is a far cry from the three-peat of 2016-2018.
While Zizou has remained cryptic in the press, the current season has been a literal drag for both club and manager. Zidane has had to deal with more than 60 injuries to his players while all battling an uphill battle for the league in one of the tightest contests of recent years. However, the club’s disastrous entanglement with the European Super League might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Zinedine Zidane: “I don't know what will happen. I'm here, tomorrow we play. The rest… anything can happen, it's Real Madrid”. ⚪️ #Real
He will announce his decision at the end of the season. ⏳
Three names shortlist [only in case he leaves] – Allegri, one of the options. 📑 https://t.co/hKxrORQU9S
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 15, 2021
Real President Florentino Perez was one of the leading architects behind the now defunct project, which had led to a frustrated Zidane having to answer a barrage of media questions regarding the club’s involvement. He was clearly uncomfortable with all the circus that was going on and tried deflecting the topic by stating that his role is only to get the team ready.
His squad at times have also shown signs of age finally catching up their star players, which was recently proven after an insipid display against Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Champions League. Two years in a row without success in Europe’s premier competition is rarely tolerated in Madrid, especially with the very real possibility of also losing La Liga.
WHERE TO NOW?
For Zidane, it seems the perfect time to jump off board this crisis-ridden ship. Sanctions from UEFA are set to hit Madrid soon, and the club’s coffers have taken a big hit as a result of the pandemic since last year. The Frenchman can take a sabbatical which is looking most likely or even join old club Juventus, with Andrea Pirlo looking almost set to exit the Old Lady come season’s end.