“Zinedine Zidane? – I wouldn’t even answer his phone call,” stated the French Football Federation’s president.
Didier Deschamps’ contract with the French national team has been extended until the end of the world cup 2026. As a result, reports about Zidane’s employment in Le Bleus ceased for the time being.
The head of the French Football Federation spoke with RMC Sport about the national team and other current issues, notably Zidane.
“Zidane for Brazil’s national team? It makes no difference to me. He is free to join any club or national team he desires. It makes no difference to me.
Did he make an attempt to contact me? Definitely not. I would not answer the phone if he called.
What should I say to him? Hello sir, don’t worry, I just agreed with Didier [Deschamps]?!”Noël Le Graët – President of the French Football Federation
The 81-year-old official, whose name is associated with the growth of Ligue 1, eventually apologized.
“It was a miscommunication. I’d want to apologize for what I said about Zidane, since that statement does not reflect what I think of him as a player or as a coach.”Noël Le Graët – President of the French Football Federation
Prior to the apology, Le Graët remark gained a lot of critics.
Kylian Mbappé defended Zidane. On Twitter, the French national team and PSG striker referred to the French coach as a legend.
“In France, we don’t insult an icon like Zidane.”Kylian Mbappé – French national team and PSG forward
Zidane c’est la France, on manque pas de respect à la légende comme ça… 🤦🏽♂️— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) January 8, 2023
Franck Ribery was taken aback by Le Graët’s statements. The veteran French footballer expressed confidence that the problem will be resolved in due course.
Tu me régales😳🤦🏻♂️. En revanche, il va falloir songer à consulter rapidement. 🤨— Franck Ribéry (@FranckRibery) January 8, 2023
Real Madrid did not dismiss the head of the French Football Federation’s comment. In an official statement, the ‘Los Blancos’ termed Le Graët’s statements unfortunate, calling Zidane one of the legends of international sports.
“Real Madrid laments the unfortunate comments made by the president of the French Football Federation, Noël Le Graët, regarding Zinedine Zidane, one of the world’s biggest sporting legends.
These remarks show a lack of respect for one of the most admired figures by football fans around the world and our club is awaiting an immediate correction.
The statements by the president of the French Football Federation are inappropriate for someone holding such representation and are in themselves unsuitable, like those he also made about our captain Karim Benzema, current Ballon d’Or, Nations League champion with France in 2021 and winner of five Champions Leagues, amongst many other honours.”Real Madrid
Official Announcement.#RealMadrid— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) January 9, 2023
Zidane made his debut as Real Madrid’s head coach precisely 7 years ago on January 9. Royal Club defeated Deportivo 5:0 in that game.
Zidane has yet to respond publicly to Noël Le Graët statements.