'The moment to change has arrived': Zidane steps down as Real Madrid manager

 'The moment to change has arrived': Zidane steps down as Real Madrid manager
Zinedine Zidane has shockingly resigned as Real Madrid manager, days after guiding the Spanish giants to an unprecedented third successive Champions League title. The decision was made with club officials on Thursday morning.

Zidane called a news conference just an hour-and-a-half before announcing his decision, in which he said: “I have taken the decision to not continue going into the next season. For me and for everybody, I think the moment to change has arrived. It was not an easy decision.

“This is my decision. Maybe it’s a mistake. But I feel it’s time. If I don’t think that we can keep winning then it’s time. How can I ask more from the players? Big players need a change,” he added. 

Flanking Zidane at the press conference, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said the decision was "completely unexpected."

Aside from his three Champions League crowns, Frenchman Zidane won one La Liga title, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups since taking the reins at the Santiago Bernabéu in 2016.

The former World Player of the Year also won the Champions League in 2002 as a player with Los Blancos, scoring an emphatic volley against Bayer Leverkusen in the final at Hampden Park.

READ MORE: Stunning Gareth Bale double wins Real unprecedented third UCL title in a row

The goal, which is rated as one of the best final goals ever, was emulated by Gareth Bale's acrobatic goal in Saturday's Champions League final, where Madrid sank Liverpool 3-1 in Kiev.

During a career in which many rated him as the best of his generation, Zidane also helped France to home World Cup victory in 1998, scoring two goals in a 3-0 final win against Brazil.