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Sports

France an objective one day - but not for now, says Real's Zidane

  • French national soccer federation president Noel Le Graet said in a Saturday interview with French radio network RTL that Zidane would be his number one candidate to succeed Didier Deschamps.
  • We'll see but right now my mind is focused on here. I'm the Real Madrid coach and I enjoy every day of it.
13 Feb 2021

MADRID: Zinedine Zidane has said he would like to coach France one day but remains focused on his current role with Real Madrid - even as he grows more frustrated with the constant media speculation over his future.

French national soccer federation president Noel Le Graet said in a Saturday interview with French radio network RTL that Zidane would be his number one candidate to succeed Didier Deschamps.

Speaking ahead of Real's La Liga match at home to Valencia on Sunday, Zidane said he had a close relationship with Le Graet but was not thinking about the national team yet.

"We'll see but right now my mind is focused on here. I'm the Real Madrid coach and I enjoy every day of it. But you never know what will happen in the future. I've always said that the national team was an objective but right now I'm here," he said.

Zidane made 108 appearances for France and was their key player when they won the 1998 World Cup on home soil.

He captained them to the final in 2006, where he was sent off against Italy for head-butting Marco Materazzi and missing the penalty shootout which his side lost.

His former team mate Deschamps led France to World Cup glory in 2018 although his current contract ends in 2022.

"If Didier leaves and I'm still there, the first person I would choose would be Zidane," Le Graet said.

Zidane has won three Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles as Real coach but his record has not protected his reputation in a stop-start campaign, and last week he hit out at reporters who continued to cast doubt his future with the club.

Real are targeting a third consecutive league win when they host Valencia and are boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and Toni Kroos but still have a lengthy list of absentees including Sergio Ramos and Eden Hazard.