January 10, 2023

What does Didier Deschamps’ contract renewal with France mean for Zinedine Zidane?

The new year has brought in new surprises. When France national team manager Didier Deschamps seemed to have made his final appearance from the sidelines for Les Bleus in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final, much to the surprise of football fans, he renewed his contract with the two-time World champions recently. Former Real Madrid manager and a legend of French football, Zinedine Zidane was tipped to replace Deschamps after the World Cup but now, there is a twist to the tale. 

Some minor yet noticeable events during the World Cup now make sense as we can connect the dots quite well after France went with Deschamps to head the group till 2026. Zinedine Zidane is well associated with Real Madrid as he led them to glory for three consecutive years in the Champions League while making immense progress in internal matters. Apart from the silverware, the revenue generated by Los Blancos during those three years is something worth keeping a club afloat for ten years without any major prize money. All was because of the French legend who not only with his tactical genius rallied Real Madrid in staying the best club in Europe but also edged his name in gold during his time as a player with the club.

Indeed, Zidane won the World Cup with France, but that didn’t stop him from supporting players who received undeserved treatment from the national team. Such was the case of striker Karim Benzema. Taking into account recent chatter, it was aired by numerous reliable media outlets that Benzema’s injury was ‘welcomed’ by some of his French teammates like Antoine Griezmann and Hugo Lloris who were reportedly ‘happy’ seeing one of their own going out of the team because of an injury. Real Madrid’s number 9 has always been a favourite of Zinedine Zidane, even in his bad times, the bond between the two Frenchman didn’t stain. We can be sure that such news about the unprofessional behaviour of some French players and their manager’s favouritism didn’t go well with the 1998 World Cup winner.

Another event which might have influenced France’s decision to renew with Deschamps is when Zizou couldn’t be present in World Cup final to back his nation. It is certain that something was going on in the background because former stars generally don’t miss such an occasion with their teams involved. There are a lot of theories going on regarding this with some siding with Zizou saying he was informed of France’s decision to stay with their manager for now while breaking a former ‘promise’ made by the latter to the former midfield maestro and some have sided with France saying Zizou backed out because France won’t be giving him full autonomy over decisions.

Now, after things have settled down, it is time to think about what remains for the 50-year-old in the future. 

There was nothing official from any parties, nor from any representatives about who’s going to be the next coach of France after 2022, but Zidane was the man clearly expecting an offer from the NT after all that talk going on since he left Real Madrid. There are now several indications, but Madridistas should be excited that there might be a mutual agreement with Los Blancos and their former manager. Zidane doesn’t want to go into tough matters right now and that is the reason he was the man tipped for the French NT job. We cannot rule out a managerial role in Real Madrid, that’s certainly there but he could take other vital decision-making roles at the club. Former club legends like Iker Casillas, Ronaldo, and Roberto Carlos have already gone into such ventures with Florentino Perez’s side. A similar arrangement could or may well be in place for Zinedine Zidane. 

Despite all the gossip, Real Madrid never ever disrespects their legends and an example of the same was yet again shown by their response to FFF president Noel Le Graet’s comments about Zinedine Zidane and Karim Benzema. It would be a wonderful reunion for Zidane at Real Madrid if he can work for the club in any capacity. Real Madrid is great but Zidane’s character once again in the club premises will bring back the nostalgic days for us, fans.

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