Zidane considering early retirement?


Zinedine Zidane has cast doubt over his long-term future at Real Madrid after hinting that he is considering an early retirement from the game.

Having previously starred as a player for the club, Zidane has become one of Los Blancos' most successful managers in recent years, having guided the club to three UEFA Champions League, two FIFA Club World Cups and one LaLiga crown during his first stint at the helm. 

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The 48-year-old returned for a second bite at the cherry towards the end of last season, and has guided his side back to the top of the league standings, but has now revealed that the demands of management meant he was unlikely to remain in the game forever.

"...I am not going to coach another 20 years, I am going to retire sooner. Anything can happen," Zidane said, per The World Game.

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"I was a better footballer than a coach, but there were better footballers than me as well, although I'm happy with what I've done. I'm not going to coach for 20 years, I don't know how many. I don't plan anything, what encourages me is the day-to-day. Then I will do other things.

"In my head, I have always been a footballer. I had 18 or 19 years as a player and when I was asked if I was going to coach, I would say no. In the end, I was, but it's demanding – I don't think I'll be here for another 20 years."

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The 1998 Ballon d'Or winner was quick to allay any fears that he would be retiring soon, however, and stressed that he was happy to be coaching the club he regards to be the best side in the world.

"No one should misinterpret what I say," Zidane added.

"The reality is I'm managing the best club in the world and I'm happy, regardless of what happens here.

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"But I know that when we lose the press will be out, the knives will be out, that won't change. We are winning now, but like I said, today we've yet to win the title. We must continue working, training hard.

"Everyone is going in the same direction. We cannot control external matters, only what we can control. We shouldn't worry about what goes on outside Real Madrid, and I think my future is the least of concerns at the moment."

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