Real Madrid's journey in the UEFA Champions League ended in the semifinals. The hurtful defeat against Chelsea shocked the Merengues, whose world could continue to be falling apart as Zinedine Zidane is believed to be on the verge of a resign.
The three-time UCL winner boss is understood to be fed up after a strange season hit by the pandemic, without the emotion that a normal year would have, and he could be stepping out from his job sooner than expected. Zizou's contract is set to expire in 2022, but his plans may have changed.
It wouldn't be the first time that the French legend decides to leave Madrid, as he put his first spell to an end after the Champions League triumph in the 2017/18 season. Less than a year later he was back on the bench as the Blancos struggled without him.
The reasons behind Zidane's possible exit
According to Goal, the feeling in the locker room is that the former world-class midfielder won't stay with them for the next term. Several players expressed that the manager doesn't seem to be happy anymore and that he certainly feels quite tired instead.
Every protocol to which the soccer campaign has been attached, with continuous tests and multiple restrictions due to health safety measures may have exhausted the Merengues' boss. Besides, the way the pandemic hit the team, ruling out some important players, while other key pieces were sidelined with injury, may have also affected the manager's mood.
Moreover, Real Madrid's sudden exit at the Champions League could have also upset the French coach. The 12-time European winners were full of hope after knocking Liverpool out, but they were unable to repeat such a display against Chelsea. They remain alive in the battle for the La Liga first spot, though, but the feeling is that Zidane may have already made up his mind.
Who may replace Zidane if he decides to leave?
With Zizou reportedly thinking about stepping away from his job, Real Madrid would be forced to considering new options. It will be a tough decision to make for the Blancos, as they have already proved to be unable to find a convincing replacement when he left in 2018.
However, the names who were linked with a Santiago Bernabeu move so far were three. First, a potential candidate could be club legend Raul, who asides from building an outstanding playing career have also earned coaching experience with the prospects from Castilla.
The other two options have much more experience under their belt. Joachim Low, who will step away from Germany's national team after the Euro 2020, could be on target as well as Massimiliano Allegri, who has been a long time without working after succeeding at Juventus.