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ZIDANE

Zidane named Real Madrid feeder coach

France legend Zinedine Zidane has been appointed coach for next season of Real Madrid's feeder team, third-division side Castilla, the club said Wednesday.

Zidane named Real Madrid feeder coach
Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

"Zizou, who was Carlo Ancelotti's first squad assistant coach this year, will start a new stage of his career at Real Madrid," Real Madrid said in a statement, adding that he was already working on plans for the club.

Zidane, 42, played for Cannes, Bordeaux and Juventus before joining Real Madrid in 2001 and retiring at the age of 34 after the 2006 World Cup.

He became France's playmaker in the buildup to the 1998 World Cup on home soil and earned legendary status with two headed goals in the 3-0 win over Brazil in the final.

Four years later injury spoiled his World Cup in South Korea and Japan, but he was instrumental in leading France into the 2006 World Cup final in Germany against Italy only to be sensationally sent off for headbutting defender Marco Materazzi in the chest before the Italians won on penalties.

He had recently been linked with the vacant managerial job at his former club Bordeaux, but elected instead to stay at Real where he is regarded as one of the club's finest ever players.

He enjoys a close relationship with Ancelotti and will now be in charge of developing younger players for first team duty. He would also be ideally placed to take over from the Italian when he decides to move on.

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FOOTBALL

France’s Zinédine Zidane quits as Real Madrid manager

French football legend Zinédine Zidane announced on Thursday he was leaving Real Madrid, just days after his team won the European Cup.

France's Zinédine Zidane quits as Real Madrid manager
AFP

Zidane, who won the World Cup with France in 1998 as a player, told media at a hastily arranged press conference in Madrid: “The team needs to keep winning so it needs a change to keep winning.”

“The team needs another way, another method of working, that's why I'm going,” he said.

Zidane's Real Madrid team beat Liverpool in the final of the Champions League on Saturday, the third consecutive season the Spanish giants have been crowned champions of Europe under his leadership.

There had been speculation Zidane would have stepped down if his team had lost the final but after securing victory the football world presumed he would stay on.

But the Frenchman, who was a former player at Real Madrid, has surprised everyone including Real's president Florentino Perez who said he was upset by Zidane's “unexpected” decision.

Perez said: “It is a totally unexpected decision, today is a sad day.”

“I told him that Real Madrid will always be his home and he will always be welcome,” said Perez adding that he had not tried to change Zidane's mind.

Speculation will now turn to what Zidane does next. 

Many believe he will end up as the coach of France's national team. He could replace the current national team manager Didier Deschamps if he decides to step down after the World Cup.

Zidane however said he wouldn't be taking up a new post immediately.

“I am not looking for another team,” he said.

But a few teams might come looking for him given his record of winning three Champions League titles on the bounce.

 

 

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