REAL MADRID

Zidane's plans post-Real Madrid

LÉquipe are reporting that the former Real Madrid coach has rejected numerous offers of employment. He is holding out for the France job.

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Zidane, con el Real Madrid.
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The front cover of Friday's edition of L'Équipe details what Zinedine Zidane has in mind to do next. Zidane decided to quit the Real Madrid coaching job even though he still had a year to run on his contract and bid farewell with a letter, published by AS in which he explained his reasons for leaving - partly for a lack of support from the club.

L'Équipe focus on the France coaching post, an objective of Zidane's for some time and due to the current circumstances, it is the closest he has come to the national team job. However, the French Football Federation, through president Noël Le Graët, recently confirmed that Didier Deschamps will continue as national team coach at least until 2022 World Cup Qatar. France's early elimination from Euro 2020 (losing to Switzerland in the Last 16) set alarm bells ringing but Deschamps is under contract and has credit for having guided France to the final of Euro 2016 and winning the World Cup in Russia in 2018. But after next year's World Cup in Qatar, it looks highly like that Zizou will end up taking over the reins with France.

Zidane and pressure from the media

The French daily claims that part of the reasons why Zidane left Madrid was the enormous pressure he was under from the media, with four press conferences per week which eventually ran him down; they also illustrate Zizou's dedication and work ethic which often would see him working a 12-hour day in Valdebebas. Zidane still lives in Madrid (two of his sons Theo and Elyaz play for Real Madrid's youth teams) and he was watching the national team all the way at Euro 2020: "Zinedine closely follows Les Bleus. They have always had a place in his heart, he is willing to do anything to help them - as he showed when he returned in 2005," a source close to the coach explained.

L'Équipe also report that Zidane has repeatedly rejected offers from clubs hoping to lure him back into coaching - many from England, some from the clubs in the Persian Gulf and Asia. Some offers have included eight-figure salaries. But for the moment, he is not thinking about returning to work within the dynamic of a club - he would rather rest and wait for the moment when he can take charge of France - a moment he knows will be just around the corner. Deschamps has already given Zizou his blessing for when that happens. In Zidane's eyes, there are four coaching jobs which will always take preference: Girondins de Bordeaux, Juventus, Real Madrid and France.

If he does take the France job, his wages will be nothing like what he earned at Madrid or even some of the offers he has turned down in recent weeks: Deschamps earns 2.2 million euros a year, apart from bonuses for results and income from image right. Le Graët has confirmed that when  Deschamps leaves, Zidane is his first option and Zizou has no problem waiting until Christmas 2022 to begin his next project.