Like a prophet, former Real Madrid coach and player, Zinedine Zidane saw the club’s mighty fall coming, when he quit last year May, after winning the UEFA championship for the third time in three years.
The Frenchman in an interview with ESPN then claimed ‘it would be difficult to win again next year’.
“It would have been difficult for me to win again next year,” he told ESPN. “There have been good moments, but also difficult times.
“I do not forget that. And at this club, you must know this: I do not want to start a season and have a bad time.
“I want to end with Real Madrid when everything is going well. I did it as a player, and now again as a coach. This [is] the right moment to end things well.”
He then went on to say he had a feeling that he would not win if he stayed as manager.
“After three years, it is difficult to keep coaching, above all, having won three Champions Leagues.
“And I did not see so clear that we would win again. If I have the feeling I will not win, a change must be made.
“As a player, if I was not happy as I was not winning, I left myself, did not blame other people, took a decision, and that’s that.
“If I do not see clearly that we are going to continue winning, a moment comes when you say, ‘Better to step aside.’”
Zidane was right as Real Madrid suffered what might well be one of their worst results in history on Tuesday night.
After travelling to Amsterdam and beating Ajax 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie, Los Blancos were heavy favourites to see the job through at the Bernabeu.
But, their season went from bad to worse as they were beaten in spectacular fashion.
Santiago Solari’s side found themselves 2-0 down after just 20 minutes as Ajax turned the tie on its head.
And the away side blew away their opponents in the second 45 minutes, eventually emerging 4-1 victors on the night.
Real Madrid have really been in a downward spiral since winning their third successive Champions League title last May.
Julen Lopetegui lasted just 14 games as manager and his successor, Santiago Solari, has not fared much better.
In the past week Real Madrid have exited the Copa del Rey and Champions League, while seeing their La Liga hopes effectively vanquish after defeat to Barcelona.