Florentino Perez was taken by surprise at the decision, made by Zinedine Zidane, to officially announce his resignation as Real Madrid coach in a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
The precise reason for the decision is not yet known, although the former Juventus midfielder cited that the dressing room needed a different voice after two and a half years of his stewardship.
It’s often been said that coaching one of LaLiga’s big two clubs is a thankless task, and that the emotional toll it takes is significant.
“Winning the LaLiga title last season is my best memory as the coach of Real Madrid,” he intimated.
“After three years it’s difficult to continue coaching, even more so after winning three Champions Leagues.
“I just didn’t see clearly that we would win it again.”
Thursday’s announcement brings to a close one of the finest chapters in Los Blancos’ history, they’ve done things that few thought possible in the modern era, and the former midfielder believes he will always remain close to the club.
“It’s a difficult moment as I’m saying I’m leaving,” he explained.
“However, it’s not a sad day for me, it’s a case of I’ll see you soon.
“I will always be close to this club, I know many people here and that relationship won’t change.”
When pressed on whether or not the various crises surrounding Real Madrid and their star players had forced him into this decision, the Frenchman was quick to quash such speculation.
“No, not at all, that has nothing to do with it,” he confirmed.
“I had the respect of all the players, which has been fundamental in achieving such success.
“These players have nothing to do with my decision; it’s simply something I’ve chosen to do.”
Florentino Perez now has the unenviable task of identifying and hiring a new coach to carry the team forward, yet it’s emerged that the club’s president was taken completely by surprise on Thursday morning when Zidane informed him of his decision to leave.
“I wasn’t prepared for this news,” he admitted.
“I want to thank Zizou for his dedication to the job, his passion and his affection.
“He’s an example for everyone, I hope that this doesn’t serve as a farewell, I want him to return someday.”