Real shock as Zidane quits as Madrid coach after Champions League hat-trick
Zinedine Zidane is stepping down as Real Madrid coach. AP

MADRID — Coach Zinedine Zidane says he is quitting Real Madrid after two-and-a-half seasons with the Spanish club.

The surprise announcement comes less than a week after Zidane led Madrid to its third straight Champions League title.

Zidane said on Thursday he felt it was the right moment — for him and for the club — to make a change.

Zidane won nine titles as Madrid's coach, including the three Champions Leagues, one Spanish League, one Spanish Super Cup, two UEFA Super Cups and two Club World Cups.

The 45-year-old Zidane was hired in January 2016 for what was his first major head-coaching job. The former star player arrived surrounded by doubts because of his lack of coaching experience but quickly surpassed expectations.

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