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"Zidane has a job to do at Madrid. We'll see in 2018..."

France Football Federation president Noël le Graët says he advised Zidane to start his career at Bordeaux "three or four years ago."

Zinedine Zidane smiles in the Real dugout during the Espanyol match.
Denis DoyleGetty Images

France Football Federation president Noël le Graët has said in an interview with France Football magazine that he advised Zinedine Zidane to start his managerial career at a smaller club than Real Madrid but praised the World Cup winner’s courage in assuming the role of coach to the stars at the Bernabéu. Le Graët also suggested that the FFF may be interested in securing Zidane’s services for Les Bleus at a later juncture.

“In accepting the coach’s job at Madrid he has not chosen the easiest route, although sometimes coaching the best players in the world is better […] I advised him to start [his career] at Bordeaux three or four years ago so that he could gain experience at a more normal club,” Le Graët said. “But he felt that one day it would be possible to coach Real Madrid. So in that respect he did well by waiting and not going to Bordeaux.”

Le Graët added that he was pleased that Zidane elected to do his coaching badges in France when he could have obtained them faster in a different country but wold not be drawn on whether or not he would be a good replacement for current Bleus coach Didier Deschamps, whose contract with the FFF expires after the 2018 World Cup.

“Let’s leave him in peace at Madrid for now. For the period 2018-2022 we’ll see. Zidane’s task at Madrid will keep him busy for a few years. We wish him success.”