Zinedine Zidane is set to leave Real Madrid, according to multiple reports from Spain.
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Zidane, 48, has a contract to lead Real Madrid until the end of the 2021-22 season, but it appears he is ready to walk away one year early from his second-stint in charge of the Spanish giants.
Various reports have also stated that Real legend Raul will take charge of Real Madrid in the summer, as the former striker has been in charge of Real’s B team since 2019.
A report from Onda Cero says that Zidane held a meeting on Saturday, May 8 and told the Real Madrid players that he will leave at the end of this season. Marca have also confirmed the meeting took place.
There has been no official confirmation from Real, or Zidane.
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Right time for Zidane to move on?
Zidane led Real to the La Liga title last season and they are in the hunt for back-to-back titles as they head into the final two league games of the season.
Overall he’s won 11 trophies during his two stints in charge of Real Madrid, including three-straight Champions League titles, but this is a very different situation compared to when he surprisingly stepped down in 2018.
After coming up short in the UEFA Champions League in the last two seasons (knocked out by Man City in the Round of 16 last season and Chelsea in the semifinals this season), Zidane probably knows that he has taken this group of players as far as he can.
With Sergio Ramos set to leave, Raphael Varane also thinking about departing and the likes of Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Marcelo and Luca Modric all coming towards the end of their careers, this really is the end of an era for Real Madrid.
What next for Real Madrid?
Huge investment is needed but given the recent comments from Florentino Perez about Real’s money issues, and his persistence to keep the European Super League fiasco alive, uncertain times are ahead for Real.
If Raul is to be the main to take charge, he will likely be tasked with bringing through the talented young group he’s worked with over the last few years as the Real Madrid B coach. Joachim Low and Max Allegri have also been mentioned as possible successors to Zidane, but Raul is reportedly the favorite.
As for Zizou, maybe a role at Juventus is calling? After a tough first season in management for Andrea Pirlo, perhaps Zidane will head back to one of his former clubs in Juve and help them regain their place among Europe’s top table?
Report: Zidane to leave Real Madrid; Raul lined up to replace him originally appeared on NBCSports.com