Zinedine Zidane will "definitely" coach France at some point, according to the current incumbent Didier Deschamps. Zidane announced his departure from Real Madrid on Thursday, five days after leading Los Blancos to a third consecutive Champions League triumph.
Time away from the game
The former France international has signalled his intention to take a break from management, following in the footsteps of former Barcelona bosses Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique. But Deschamps - whose France contract runs through to 2020 - believes Zidane is a potential successor when he leaves the post.
"If I will be proud to hand him the keys of the French team? I don't have them!" Deschamps joked at a news conference. "It's up to the president [of the French Football Federation, Noël Le Graët]. I don't know what he [Zidane] decided. I think for now, he wants to enjoy the rest, his family and loved ones. And then after, and as I said, he will definitely be a coach of the French team someday. When? I cannot say. But it seems logical. It will happen when it happens."
Zizou chose to bow out on a high note
Deschamps added he can understand why Zidane - a team-mate when France won the World Cup in 1998 on home soil - opted to go out on a high. "It's his decision and it must be respected. He had to think for a long time and if he made that decision, he had to be convinced that it was the best for him," he continued. "Looking at what he has achieved over these three years is something fantastic. For him and his club. I don't have all the ins and outs, but I can understand that he made that decision. To leave while being at the top, he has that freedom. Some take it, some don't. And some are obliged too. I don't have all the details, but I can understand. The moments and success he has known. We know each other well enough and we have mutual respect."