Zidane’s open letter to Real Madrid fans: “I’m leaving because the club no longer have the self-confidence I need”
Dear Real Madrid fans,
For over 20 years, from the first day I arrived in Madrid and wore the white shirt, you have shown me your love. I always felt that there was something special between us. I had the immense honor of being a player and coach of the greatest club of all time, but above all I’m just a fan of Madrid. For all these reasons I wanted to write this letter, say goodbye to you and explain my decision to leave the coaching position.
When, in March 2019, I accepted the offer to return to real Madrid after an eight-month break, it was of course because President Florentino Pérez asked me, but also because you all asked me every day. When I met one of you on the street, I felt your support and the desire to see me again with the team. Because I share the values of Real Madrid; this club belongs to its members, its fans and the whole world. I tried to follow these values in everything I did and tried to be an example. Being in Madrid for 20 years is the most beautiful thing that has happened to me in my life and I know I owe it entirely to the fact that Florentino Pérez supported me in 2001, he fought to get me, to bring me here when some people were against it. I say it from the bottom of my heart when I say that I will always be grateful to the ‘presi‘ for that. Always.
“I share the values of Real Madrid. This club belongs to its members, to its fans and to the whole world. I have tried to follow these values in everything I have done and I have tried to be an example “
I have now decided to leave and I am willing to explain the reasons. I go, but I don’t jump overboard and I’m not tired of training. In May 2018, I left because after two and a half years, with so many victories and so many trophies, I felt that the team needed a new approach to stay at the top level. Right now things are different. I’m leaving because I feel that the club no longer has the confidence in me that 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 go. But with that a very important thing was forgotten, everything that I built day to day was forgotten, what I brought to my relationships with the players, with the 150 people who work with and around the team. I am a natural winner and I was here to win trophies, but even more important than that is the people, their feelings, life itself and I have a feeling that these things have not been taken into account, that there has been a failure to understand that these things also keep the momentum of a great club going. To some extent, I was even reprimanded for it.
“I’m leaving because I feel that the club no longer has the self-confidence I need, nor the support to build something in the medium or long term”
I want there to be respect for what we have accomplished together. I wish my relationship with the club and the president over the past few months had been a bit different from that of other coaches. I wasn’t asking for privileges, of course not, just a little more memory. These days the life of a canoe coach in a big club is two seasons, a little longer. To make it last longer, human relationships are essential, they are more important than money, more important than fame, more important than anything. They need to be fed. That’s why it hurt me so much when I read in the press after a loss that I would be sacked if I didn’t win the next match. It hurt me and the whole team because these messages deliberately leaked to the media had a negative influence on the team, they created doubts and misunderstandings. Luckily I had these amazing guys who were with me until I died. When things went wrong, they saved me with magnificent victories. Because they believed in me and knew that I believed in them. Of course, I am not the best coach in the world, but I am able to give everyone, be it a player, a member of the technical staff or any employee, the strength and confidence that they have. need in their work. I know exactly what a team needs. During these 20 years in Madrid, I have learned that you, the fans, want to win, of course, but above all you want us to give everything: the coach, the staff, the employees and of course the players. And I can assure you that we have given 100% of ourselves to this club.
“Of course, I am not the best coach in the world, but I am able to give everyone, be it a player, a member of the technical staff or any employee, the strength and confidence that they need in their work “
I take this opportunity to send a message to journalists. I have given hundreds of press conferences and unfortunately we talked very little about football, even though I know you love football, the sport that brings us together. However, and without any desire to criticize or lecture, I would have liked the questions not always to have been controversial, that we could have spoken more often about the game and especially about the players, who are and will always be the most important thing in this sport. Let’s not forget football, let’s take care of it.
Dear Madrid fans, I will always be one of you.