Zinedine Zidane got in touch with Sergio Ramos before he left Real Madrid 2 years ago

Zinedine Zidane got in touch with Sergio Ramos before he left Real Madrid

The Real Madrid players found out their manager was leaving just over 72 hours after they had claimed their third successive Champions League trophy.

Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as Real manager but told reporters and fans that his departure was a case of 'Hasta pronto' [see you soon].

The French football legend led Los Blancos to nine trophies in just under three seasons, including that remarkable treble of Champions League triumphs. He told a press briefing that he decided to walk away as the European champions could do with a fresh voice with fresh ideas.

"If I can't see clearly how we're going to continue winning," he said, "or how I want them, then it's the best time to change. To not continue."

Zidane's final success as Real boss comes after he led his side to a Champions League final win over Liverpool. Captain Sergio Ramos lifted the trophy in the early hours of Sunday morning, in Kiev, and the celebrations rolled on into Tuesday before the squad finally broke up and went their separate ways [many will be on World Cup duty this summer].

On Wednesday, however, Zidane dropped into the squad's official group messaging service to break the news he was leaving.

Ramos, as captain, was afforded a call by Zidane and the pair left it on positive terms. The former Real and Juventus midfielder told the assembled media:

"I'm not going to coach another team right now. I'm not looking for another team. 

"I've sent a message to all the squad and I've spoken to Sergio Ramos. As always as a person and captain, we have lived a lot together, he respects my decision.

"He wished me luck. He is a leader, a captain and it has been a pleasure to share three more years with him."

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No calls for Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Karim Benzema but a respectful chat with the club's long-time captain.

Earlier this season, Zidane was forced to face the press to down-play a spat between Ramos and star player Ronaldo after it had dragged on too long.

"Sergio is very clever, he can say what he wants and so can Cristiano," Zidane told Eurosport. "They've spent so long playing together and have won a lot of things together and it doesn't mean anything if they disagree on something from time to time."

Zidane has moved on and Ronaldo has yet to decide on his next move with the club.

Ramos, one suspects, will hang around a while back.