Zinédine Zidane on his future: “I want to come full circle with the French national team.”

In his interview with L’Équipe for an issue dedicated to his 50th birthday, Zinédine Zidane spoke at length about his career, but also about his future, notably addressing the links to the Paris Saint-Germain job.

[…] What do you have left to accomplish?

To keep managing. I still have the desire to. And then, why not be in a project where I am the director myself.

Such as?

President of a club or director of a company, for example… I already started that with the Z5 Group I launched with my family, in particular my brothers Farid, Nordine, James and my sister Lila. But we’re not there yet. I’d like to carry out a project with people I like, who are competent and who I can trust. In life, you have to surround yourself with the right people.

And managing a national team?

I want to, of course. I will be [national team manager], I hope, one day. When will that be? It doesn’t depend on me. But I want to come full circle with the French national team. I was in it as a player. And it’s the most beautiful thing that’s happened to me [puts his hand on his heart]. Really! It’s the absolute peak. And so, because I’ve experienced that as a player and that I’m now a manager the French national team is well fixed in my mind.

Just after Didier Deschamps?

I don’t know. If it has to happen it will happen, whether it’s then or not. When I say I want to take over the French team, I stand by that. Right now, a team is in place. With its own objectives. But if the opportunity presents itself afterwards, I will be there. Once again, it doesn’t depend on me. My deep desire is there. The French national team is the most beautiful thing.

[…] Could a Marseille native like you manage a club like Paris Saint-Germain?

Never say never. Especially when you are a manager these days. But the question is irrelevant. It’s absolutely not on the cards. When I was a player, I had the choice out of almost every club. As a manager, there aren’t 50 clubs where I can go. There are two or three possibilities, that’s the reality right now. As a coach, you have a lot less choice than as a player. If I’m going to a club, it’s to win there. I say that with complete modesty. That’s why I don’t just want to go anywhere. For other reasons as well, I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere.

Which ones?

The language, for example. Certain conditions make things more difficult. When I get asked, “Do you want to go to Manchester?” – I understand English but I’m not completely fluent. I know there are managers who go to clubs without speaking the language. But I work differently. In order to win, lots of factors come into play. It’s an overall context. I personally know what I need in order to win. Of course, you could end up not winning but I know that you need this, this and that. And I want everything in my favour in order to optimise victory.


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