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France’s Zinédine Zidane quits as Real Madrid manager

French football legend Zinédine Zidane announced on Thursday he was leaving Real Madrid, just days after his team won the European Cup.

France's Zinédine Zidane quits as Real Madrid manager
AFP

Zidane, who won the World Cup with France in 1998 as a player, told media at a hastily arranged press conference in Madrid: “The team needs to keep winning so it needs a change to keep winning.”

“The team needs another way, another method of working, that's why I'm going,” he said.

Zidane's Real Madrid team beat Liverpool in the final of the Champions League on Saturday, the third consecutive season the Spanish giants have been crowned champions of Europe under his leadership.

There had been speculation Zidane would have stepped down if his team had lost the final but after securing victory the football world presumed he would stay on.

But the Frenchman, who was a former player at Real Madrid, has surprised everyone including Real's president Florentino Perez who said he was upset by Zidane's “unexpected” decision.

Perez said: “It is a totally unexpected decision, today is a sad day.”

“I told him that Real Madrid will always be his home and he will always be welcome,” said Perez adding that he had not tried to change Zidane's mind.

Speculation will now turn to what Zidane does next. 

Many believe he will end up as the coach of France's national team. He could replace the current national team manager Didier Deschamps if he decides to step down after the World Cup.

Zidane however said he wouldn't be taking up a new post immediately.

“I am not looking for another team,” he said.

But a few teams might come looking for him given his record of winning three Champions League titles on the bounce.

 

 

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FOOTBALL

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage

French prosecutors on Friday called for a 15-year prison sentence for one of two Russians accused of beating a British supporter during Euro 2016, an attack that left him with brain injuries.

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage
Russian fans light flares at the match against England in 2016.. Photo: AFP

One prosecutor, Christophe Raffin, asked for the “legal maximum… between 14 and 15 years” for Pavel Kossov, who is accused of throwing the first punch at 55-year-old Andrew Bache.

Bache was injured in the violence that broke out before England played Russia in the southern French port city of Marseille on June 11th, 2016.

The second Russian on trial in Aix-en-Provence, Mikhail Ivkine, stands accused of throwing a chair at the victim, with prosecutors asking for a potential suspended sentence of up to five years.

He has claimed he was defending himself.

“No, it wasn't legitimate self-defence, it was illegitimate use of force against Andrew Bache,” Raffin said of the violence.

 

Police give emergency aid to Andrew Bache following clashes in the city of Marseille. Photo: AFP

The prosecutors said the Russians were part of a group of about 150 men, many with martial arts training, who wrought havoc in Marseille.

Bache, from Portsmouth in southern England, has no memory of the events and is too frail to attend the trial.

His son Harry, who nurses his father, is representing him in court.

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