Zinedine Zidane has never been attached to contracts, at least since the day he signed for Real Madrid on a napkin in the summer of 2000.That commitment resulted in Florentino Perez signing him as a player, before he waved goodbye to Los Blancos six years later because he didnt feel capable of performing at the highest level, giving up on everything.
Now, after lifting the Champions League for the third time in a row as coach, he has ended his time as Real coach.
It brings to an end a fantastic bond of just over two years and a lot of money too.He leaves overwhelmed about the possibility of responding to the expectations that this side creates each season.The squad needs changes to perform as the club demands and the Frenchman knows that full well.
The Champions League is good, but they want more, or at least to live up to the expectations that are upon them in LaLiga and the Copa del Rey, something which didn't happen this season.Real's former coach maintains that the only reason for his exit is for the group to develop and find new motivation and inspiration.
That is true, but many of those incentives are related to changing things in the group, which is something that he never contemplated doing.He neither wanted to nor had any intention of shaping a new Real team, or at least a team with fresh faces.
The turning point came with the Copa del Rey elimination, something he understood was a failure and not up to the expectations of what the club represents.He had a hard time after that and realised that the team needed new scenarios if they wanted to develop, but at no time he did want to emit any sign of weakness.
Real moved forward and it was always with the team and the club ahead of Zidane.The debate around the possible signing of Kepa during the winter market also impacted the coach deeply.He was part of an agreement that he didn't want, at least not in the month of January.There were already three goalkeepers in the squad and among them was his son Luca, who some believe has been unfairly treated because of his surname.
So Zizou leaves, but don't think he's going to find a new home on a dugout soon, because he has left the role that he considers to be the best in the world.There's only one possible destination for him next and that is the French national team, but there is no rush.On top of that, as Perez said, Real Madrid is and always will be his home.
The president, who tried to convince him on Thursday for two years, was happy with the achievements of someone he considers a friend.Zidane was his big bet, first as a player and then as a coach, and he didn't disappoint or let him down.
Of the five Champions Leagues achieved by Real during Perez's stewardship, Zidane has been a part of them all in one way or another.Player, assistant and then first-team coach, and he really didn't want him to walk away.