With the euphoria his appointment as the new Real Madrid manager was met with now in considerable decline following Sunday’s draw with Málaga, Zinedine Zidane takes pride of place on the front cover of next month’s edition of GQ. In an interview with the world famous lifestyle magazine - entitled “Zidane in front of the mirror” - the Frenchman opened up about his methodology and coping with the end of his playing career as well as the pressures involved with being in charge of one of the world’s biggest teams.
Life as the boss. “As a coach I think I understand what my players need and when I’m required to intervene. Simply being there for them can be enough and certain problems don’t need to be talked over too much. Sometimes good communication means knowing when to shut up. And that’s something I’m very good at”. Zizou is confident he will succeed at the Bernabéu: “I know what I want. It’ll be tricky but I’m up to the task”.
Time is a cruel mistress, even for the World Cup winner. “My body isn’t what it used to be. I don’t have the stamina I had before. Now when I play a match, even if it’s a veteran game, I ache all over afterwards and it takes me a long time to recover. But aging doesn’t bother me. I never had any problems when I started losing my hair, I know myself very well”. The one-time Ballon d’Or also made sure to mention La Castellane, the neighbourhood he grew up in: “The streets toughen you up”.
Hanging up his boots at the peak of his powers: “I could have stayed on for a couple more years but I thought I might lack the adrenaline needed for the big games. I made my decision. It was easier to do it that way than have someone tell me “your days are numbered”.