Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane has revealed that he would have taken the job to be Real’s head coach, if president Florentino Perez would have offered him it.
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Zidane, 43, was Real’s assistant coach under Carlo Aneclotti during the 2013-14 season before he moved on to coach their reserve side, Real Madrid’s Castilla, for the 2014-15 campaign. Now Rafael Benitez is in charge of Real after Ancelotti was sacked in May, and Zidane will continue to coach their reserve side as he works towards completing his coaching badges.
In an interview with magazine France Football, which will be published in full on Wednesday, the former World Cup winner, French national team legend, World Player of the Year and UEFA Champions League winner with Real, revealed that he would have gladly have taken the reins at the Santiago Bernabei this summer.
“I would have accepted being Ancelotti’s successor,” Zidane said. “I’m a professional and I’m never going to turn down a challenge.”
Zidane also had some interesting things to say about the lines between being an assistant and the head coach, before claiming that he was not disappointed to be overlooked at this point in his coaching career.
“No, not at all. I’m not disappointed. I believe it wasn’t the time,” Zidane said. “Things happen naturally, you don’t have to go looking for them. He (Perez) took the decision to choose another coach and that’s that.”
Remember, Zidane has never coached a senior team in his fledgling career on the sidelines but as long as he is involved in the coaching staff at Real he will be linked with the main job whenever it becomes available. Which, under the current president Perez, seems to be about every 18 months or so.
Maybe post-Benitez will be the time to usher Zizou into one of the top jobs in world soccer and see if he sinks or swims.