Zinedine Zidane left Real Madrid because he did not feel he had the support or respect he deserved from the club, the coach said in an open letter to fans on Monday.
In his first public comments since resigning last week, Zidane said the club did not fully appreciate his work and hinted that information was leaking to the media to undermine him. The Frenchman said he wanted his relationship with President Florentino Perez to be different in recent months.
Zidane left a year before the end of his contract in his second match with the Spanish club. The stay began in March 2019 and ended with the end of the untitled season from Madrid for the first time since 2009-10.
It was a very different farewell when he left for the first time after leading Madrid to one of his most successful runs of 2016-18, when the club won three consecutive Champions League titles. Then he came out on top, saying that the club needed someone fresh at the helm to keep winning.
“Things are different now,” Zidane said in a long letter published by the Spanish sports daily As. “I’m leaving because I feel that the club no longer gives me the confidence I need, it doesn’t offer me the support to build something in the medium or long term.”
The 48-year-old Zidane, who won nine titles in his first match against Madrid and two in the second, said he deserved more recognition from the club for his work. He said that “what we have achieved together must be respected.
“I know football and I know the requirements of a club like Madrid. I know that when you don’t win, you have to leave, “he said. “But this time something very important has been forgotten, everything I have built every day, what I have contributed to the relationship with the players and the 150 people who work at the club, has been forgotten.”
Zidane said “in a way he felt reproached” by the club that he was trying to work on that relationship.
“I was born a winner and I was here to win trophies, but there are also people, emotions, life … And I feel that these things are not appreciated, that it is not understood that these things are also important for a great club.” , he said.
Zidane said he would always be grateful to Perez for bringing him to Madrid and fighting for him, but wished his relationship with the president and the club had been different in recent months. He said he deserved to be treated better.
“I didn’t want privileges, of course not, but for some memory,” Zidane said. – Nowadays, coaches often do not stay more than two seasons with a top club. To change this, human relationships are essential, they are more important than money, more important than fame, more important than anything. “
He said I was “very hurt” by the constant reading in the media that he was in danger of being fired.
“It hurts and hurts the squad,” he said, “because these messages, which were deliberately leaked to the media, created negative interference in the team.”
Zidane said he would like journalists to focus their questions more on football than on controversy.
“I wish we could talk more about the ball and the players who will always be the most important thing in this game,” he said. “We have to take care of football.”
Madrid said after Zidane left on Thursday that they respected his decision and expressed their “gratitude for his professionalism, dedication and passion over the years and what he means to Real Madrid.” The club said that Zidane “is aware that he has a place in the hearts of Real Madrid fans and that he will always have a home in Real Madrid. “
The club has not yet announced a replacement for Zidane, with Antonio Conte, Mauricio Pochettino, Xabi Alonso and Raul Gonzalez among the possible candidates for the position.