Karim Benzema sends message to Zinedine Zidane after Real Madrid departure

The French coach has decided to leave the Bernabeu (Picture: Getty Images)

Karim Benzema has led the tributes from Real Madrid’s players to Zinedine Zidane after the manager resigned from his position at the Bernabeu for the second time in his career.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Spanish giants confirmed that the French coach had opted to step down and said they ‘must now respect’ his decision.

Real had endured an often testing season and were pipped to the Liga title by Atletico Madrid on the final day of the season, ending the campaign without any silverware.

Zidane returned to Real Madrid for a second spell in March 2019 (Picture: Getty)

Zidane’s grievances were believed to date back to the beginning of the campaign, feeling he had received little support or backing when reports emerged that he would be sacked if Real failed to qualify from their Champions League group.

Despite rumblings of discontent, the news of Zidane’s exit will come as a big shock to many of Real’s players, with Benzema recently giving an interview in which he was adamant his compatriot would remain in charge.

But now Real are looking for a new boss and Zidane’s time in charge of Los Blancos has come to and end, with Benzema paying tribute to his former boss in a touching post on social media.

‘Thank you bro for everything you have given me both collectively and personally,’ wrote Benzema on Instagram.

‘I am proud and honoured to have been able to move forward and grow with the man that you are. See you…’

Toni Kroos, who had also been convinced that Zidane would remain charge of Real, sent his own message of support to the Frenchman, saying: ‘It has been a pleasure. Thanks Zizou.’

Zidane won three consecutive Champions League titles with the club and a La Liga title during his first period in charge between 2016 and 2018.

He returned 10 months later and won La Liga last season, though has found this campaign rather challenging on and off the pitch despite ultimately finishing just two points behind champions Atletico.

A host of big names are in the frame to replace Zidane, notably his former teammate Raul, though Massimiliano Allegri has already opted to return to Juventus.

MORE : Eden Hazard wants Real Madrid exit and targets Chelsea return

MORE : Massimiliano Allegri turns down Real Madrid in order to rejoin Juventus

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