Zinedine Zidane claims he left Real Madrid because he felt the club no longer had faith in him or could offer the support he needed to rebuild the team.
The Frenchman won three consecutive Champions League titles and a LaLiga triumph in his first spell as manager between 2016 and 2018 and secured another league championship on his return after a year’s hiatus.
He quit the Bernabeu last week despite having 12 months remaining on his contract after the club failed to win any trophy for the first time in 11 years and in an open letter to fans published by Spanish newspaper AS he detailed the reasons for leaving early.
“I’m going, but I’m not jumping overboard, nor am I tired of coaching,” wrote the 48-year-old.
“I’m leaving because I feel the club no longer has the faith in me I need, nor the support to build something in the medium or long term.
“I understand football and I know the demands of a club like Real Madrid. I know when you don’t win, you have to leave.
“I’m a natural-born winner and I was here to win trophies, but even more important than this are the people, their feelings, life itself and I have the sensation these things have not been taken into account.
“There has been a failure to understand that these things also keep the dynamics of a great club going. To some extent I have even been rebuked for it.”
There has been a sense the fortunes of the club, which won three Champions League titles back-to-back under Zidane, have been fading for some time and that a significant rebuild is needed.
Long-standing captain and talisman Sergio Ramos is 35, Karim Benzema is 34 in December while the likes of Marcelo (33), Toni Kroos (31) and Eden Hazard (30) are all over 30 now while Luka Modric was this month given a year’s contract extension despite turning 36 at the start of next season.
Zidane also felt his personal worth to the club was not fully appreciated.
“I want there to be respect for what we have achieved together. I would have liked my relationship with the club and the president over the past few months to have been a little different to that of other coaches,” he added.
“I wasn’t asking for privileges, of course not, just a little more recollection.
“These days the life of a coach in the dugout at a big club is two seasons, little more.
“For it to last longer the human relationships are essential, they are more important than money, more important than fame, more important than everything. They need to be nurtured.”