The Real Madrid coach remembered his early years at Cannes: “I made sure I rested well, I never went out to bars drinking. I drank water and looked after myself”.
Zinedine Zidane figures among the all-time greats at Real Madrid - both as a player, and now as a coach. But he concedes that it reaching the top these days is not the same as when he was starting out in the 1980s. “Before, to be able to play you had to be a good player, it wasn't as simple as it is today. Nowadays, if they can see that you have some talent, they'll give you an opportunity fairly quickly”, Zidane told OTRO.
Zidane admits he had difficulties at school
The Madrid coach says he always knew, right from when he was a young boy that he wanted to become a footballer and toiled hard to give himself a chance of making it while listening to the advice his parents gave him. “All I wanted to do was play football but I was struggling at school. My parents never scolded me, but I knew that my attitude wasn't right. Then, one day they said to me: ‘We know that you have something in mind that you want to do, so do want you really want to do’. Once I had the permission from my father and mother I gave everything to be who I wanted to be. When I arrived in Cannes and watched the other players training I said to myself: ‘This is what I want to do’”.
From that day, Zidane says he knew what he wanted to do with his life and was determined to become the best in the world. “From that moment, I fought to turn myself into the best player. I made sure I rested well, I never went out to bars drinking to make a fool of myself; I looked after myself, I drank a lot of water and did stretching exercises. I did everything I could to become the best player; it was something I had to do at any cost. That is how I made my parents happy and proud of me.
Football has changed
“In those days, to get yourself noticed, you had to be a good player, that's not the case today. First of all, you had to show that you are different to the rest because there was only a limited number of youth players - one or two in every club. Not like now. Today, everything has evolved and everything moves much quicker and young players are not afraid of making mistakes”, Zidane ended.