French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet has said that Zinedine Zidane is the number one choice to succeed Didier Deschamps as France’s boss.
In his 12-year international career, Zidane, who played 108 games for France, still has over a year left on his Real Madrid deal, although pressure is building on him this season amid the inconsistency of his squad.
After the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Deschamps’ current contract with Les Bleus will end and if he chooses to leave next year, it will be his former team-mate who will get Le Graet’s call.
“We have a very good relationship with Zidane, personally, at least,” he said in an RTL interview.
“If Didier stopped, if I was still there, the first person I would see would be Zidane.
It is not the first time that Le Graet has expressed his desire to see Zidane taking the place of the World Cup-winning coach, as he told Telefoot+ last month: “The day Didier leaves, he will decide to leave or will not be renewed, if Zidane is available, then he will be the man for the job.”
Deschamps himself recently said that he would like to see Zidane taking over the national team, telling BFMTV: “He always had a decisive element to his game and I never had a problem with that. Afterward, everything he has done… Zizou is Zizou.”
In 1998, Zidane withdrew from the World Cup with France and then played a key role in their Euro 2000 success. His career ended in scandal, as he was sent off after headbutting Italy’s defender Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final. In a penalty shootout, the Azzurri went on to win the trophy.
Zidane has responded to Le Graet’s comments by saying that he has a good relationship with the president of the national federation and that coaching Les Bleus is something he will consider.
“My relationship is pleasant with Le Graet. We’ve known each other since 1998,’ said Zidane at a Saturday press conference.
“One day, it might be an objective. Earlier, when I started coaching 10 years ago, I said that it was something that one day could be a possibility. Right now I’m here. I’m enjoying what I’m doing here. In the future we’ll see, you never know. But my mind is on the day-to-day here at Real Madrid.”