The 46-year-old Zidane led Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title in a 3-1 win over Liverpool last weekend.

There are strong rumours in Spain that departed Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is a contender to take over at Real Madrid, with bookies slashing odds on the Frenchman taking over at the Bernabeu as news of Zidane's exit was confirmed.

Zidane, 45, replaced Rafael Benitez in January 2016 and despite his European success has come under pressure for winning only one La Liga title during his two and a half years in charge. "All I want to do is remind him that this club is his home and family". I think many won't understand but I know it's the right time.

"This is a very hard and demanding club; I always said it is like a grinder, it is very exhausting to be there. But everything changes and that's why I've taken the decision to leave".

So it was announced on Thursday that Zinedine Zidane would be leaving Real Madrid.

Club president Florentino Perez said as he opened the news conference: "It is a sad day, for me, for the club, the players, everyone at this club".

Zidane has clearly seen the signs and believes it is the right time to walk away, with his head held high, while he revealed he will now take a break from coaching. They have always backed me. But he knows I wanted him as a player and as a manager.

"This side should carry on winning and needs a change for this".

"This is "until soon" as I have no doubt that you will be back".

"I want to thank Zizou for his dedication to the job, his passion and his affection". "I'm not here to talk about the future of this team".