Zidane denied request to coach France after Euro 2012
Real Madrid's assistant coach Zinedine Zidane from France, left, and coach Carlo Ancelotti from Italy, right, gesture during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at La Rosaleda stadium in Malaga, Spain, Saturday March 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Daniel Tejedor)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, April 15, 2014 10:38AM EDT
PARIS -- Midfield great Zinedine Zidane offered to coach the national team two years ago but was turned down by the president of the French Football Federation.
Noel Le Graet says in a book due out this week that Zidane expressed an interest in replacing Laurent Blanc after the 2012 European Championship. Blanc and Zidane played together when France won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.
France Football magazine published an extract on Tuesday from Le Graet's book, "Champions du monde 98, secrets et pouvoir" (98 world champions, secrets and power).
In it, Le Graet writes "Zinedine Zidane would have liked to have coached Les Bleus," adding "it's clear, he wanted it" and "I met him at his request."
But Le Graet refused because Zidane, now Real Madrid's assistant coach, lacked experience.
"It was not the moment, he needed to coach a team first," Le Graet said.
The 41-year-old Zidane -- who scored twice in the 1998 final when France beat Brazil 3-0 and also in the 2006 final -- has been linked to the Monaco job next season as a possible replacement for Claudio Ranieri.