Zinedine Zidane: a coach with an eye for emerging talent

Camavinga, Upamecano, Cherki... The coach has a keen grasp on emerging talent with a special interest and deep knowledge of emerging stars especially in his native France.

Zinedine Zidane: a coach with an eye for emerging talent

After hanging up his boots and before becoming a coach, Zidane spent a period as a talent scout in an unofficial capacity. The coach singled out both Hazard and Varane at the outset of their careers and the Frenchman has plans to secure the likes of Ckerki and Camavinga in the future at Madrid.

Sin tituloFrench former football player and today Real Madrid's head coach Zinedine Zidane speaks to journalists during the presentation of a sports and educational program called "Zidane Five Club" (ZFC), in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, on August 19, 2020. (Photo by Christophe SIMON / AFP)


Upon rejoining Real Madrid in an advisory capacity in 2009, Zidane made Real Madrid aware of the talents of Eden Hazard. The Belgian was 18 at the time and made his name with Chelsea after moving the London SW6 based side in 2012. The Belgian moved to Real Madrid for a fee of 100 million euro, a decade after being singled out by Zizou.


Varane was another young talent that was singled out by the coach. The coach was impressed with the defender despite forming part of the Lens side that struggled in Ligue 1 in 2011 and following the 'Sant et Or' being relegated, Varane made the move to the Spanish capital at the tender age of 18.


At just 17, the Rennes player is high on the wanted list at the Bernabéu club. The economic crisis provoked by the coronavirus and the player's desire to compete in the 2020/21 Champions League with the French side have contributed to a possible move to the Spanish capital taking place in the summer of 2021.


A player more in the Pogba mould than that of Casemiro, Soumaré was one of the Ligue 1 revelations in the 19/20 campaign and ranked ninth as player's with most playing time. The French club reportedly rejected a Madrid 40 million euro offer for his signature in 2019.


Zidane has been monitoring the performance of the defender for some time now and despite renewing with RB Leipzig earlier this summer, the French coach hopes to bring Upamecano to Madird at some juncture even if it means paying the 45 million euro buy-out clause.


The 19-year-old is being monitored by both Real Madrid and Manchester City with parent club AS Monaco reportedly rekected a 25 million euro bid from the English side.


Rayan Cherki is one of the most promisiing strikers in French football and at 17-years of age (and two days) recemtkly became the youngest playrr to participare in the semi-final of a UEFA Champions League match. Despite rebewing with the Ligue 1 outfit in a deal which will see him play in France through to 2023, Real Madrid are in talks with his represenattives over a future switch from Lyon to the Spanish capital.