The 45-year-old guided his team to their third consecutive UEFA Champions League title win last weekend.
His record at the club reads like a dream: 149 games played, 104 won, 16 lost and nine trophies lifted since taking charge in January 2016.
“I have taken the decision to not continue going into the next season. For me and for everybody, I think the moment to change has arrived. It was not an easy decision,” Zidane said at a press conference on Thursday.
“This is my decision. Maybe it’s a mistake. But I feel it’s time. If I don’t think that we can keep winning, then it’s time. How can I ask more from the players? Big players need a change.”
Zidane’s decision came as a blow to Real Madrid President Florentino Perez, who said he had hoped the French football legend would stay by his side “forever”.
READ MORE: World Cup wonders
“As you can imagine, after winning the Champions League, to hear this decision is completely unexpected. It’s a sad day for me and it also will be for the fans and players of this club.
“I wanted him as a player and a manager and I wanted him to be next to me forever, but I also know that, when he takes a decision, it’s a final decision.”
“It was a huge impact for me yesterday when I heard this decision. I would have liked to convince him to stay on but I know what he’s like. All I can offer is my love and respect and remind him that this is his home.”
While the news has left some fans devastated, others have applauded him for bowing out at his peak.
Bright chap! There’s nothing more to achieve at Real Madrid. Its better to resign while still on top than wait until things go down.
Good luck master for future managerial career ..!! #realmadrid #Zizou #Zidane #ZinadineZidane @realmadrid #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/LHif5LFEFY
— Abhisheyk Barnwal (@TheAbhisheyk) May 31, 2018
— ketan (@theredketan) May 31, 2018
As a player and coach you decided to say goodbye at the top. Thank you for two and a half incredible years. Your legacy will never be erased, one of the most successful chapters in the history of our beloved @realmadrid pic.twitter.com/dO6bw74aA3
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) May 31, 2018
Real Madrid have sacked so many managers
Was Zidane the first one to actually use his head?! pic.twitter.com/SWierZLAL8
— Goal UK (@GoalUK) May 31, 2018
Rumours that Arsene Wenger will replaces Zinedine Zidane
So Real Madrid won’t be winning the Champions League again for the next 10 years pic.twitter.com/Vx5dJyhFIT
— Football Tweets (@FutballTweets) May 31, 2018
Zinedine Zidane in 2.5 seasons at Real Madrid
– 3 consecutive UCLs (record)
– 9 trophies (2nd best)
– 40 games unbeaten (record)
– Never lost a UCL KO tie in 3 full campaigns pic.twitter.com/mC8H6Zb2hm
— ™ (@Tacticomotion_) May 31, 2018