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Zinedine Zidane – Noel le Graet controversy: Everything you need to know as FFF president apologises to Zidane

Zinedine Zidane has managed just one club in his coaching career and that is his former club Real Madrid. He already has phenomenal records as a manager including winning a hat trick of UCL trophies. The Frenchman is regarded as one of the elite managers currently. After his two stints with Real Madrid, he didn’t accept any offer and was reportedly waiting for the France men’s national team head coach’s job.

The current manager of the France national team, Didier Deschamps was expected to leave the job after the World Cup 2022 and Zidane was deemed to be the successor. However, Didier Deschamps has now renewed his contract with France for the next 4 years, ie, till World Cup 2026.

Noel le Graet’s comment on Zinedine Zidane

FFF president Noel le Graet said on whether Zidane called him about the France head coach’s job, via BBC: “I wouldn’t even have taken his call. To tell him what? ‘Hello sir. Don’t worry. Look for another club. I just agreed a contract with Didier.'”

“It’s up to him what he does. It’s not my business. I’ve never met him and we’ve never considered parting with Didier.”

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“He can go where he wants, to a club. He would have as many as he wants in Europe, a big club. But a national side is hardly credible, to my mind.”

This comment by Noel le Graet on Zidane created a huge controversy as everybody came to the defence of the 1998 World Cup-winning Frenchman. France’s current superstar Kylian Mbappe also supported Zidane. He wrote on Twitter: “Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect the legend like that…”

Real Madrid’s statement on this matter

Zidane’s former club Real Madrid also came to his defence and demanded an apology from Noel le Graet. The Spanish club also highlighted his disrespect for their club captain Karim Benzema.

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Real Madrid wrote in the official statement: “Real Madrid C. F. laments the unfortunate comments made by the president of the French Football Federation, Nöel 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. Zinedine Zidane, World and European champion representing his country, amongst many other honours, he embodies the values of the sport and has proven this throughout his professional career as a player and as a coach.”

“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 5 Champions Leagues, amongst many other honours.”

Noel le Graet’s apology to Zinedine Zidane

Amelie Oudea-Castera, France’s Sports Minister, also demanded an apology from Le Graet for “a shameful lack of respect” towards one of France finest Zinedine Zidane

Noel le Graet has now issued an apology, which read, via BBC: “I would like to apologise for these remarks, which absolutely do not reflect my views nor my consideration for the player he was and the coach he has become.”

“I gave an interview to [French radio station] RMC that I should not have given because they were looking for controversy by opposing Didier and Zinedine Zidane, two greats of French football.”

“I admit that I made some clumsy remarks which created a misunderstanding.”

Read: Zinedine Zidane reveals the secret behind Karim Benzema becoming the best player in the world


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Rahul Roy
Rahul Roy
I am a computer guy by profession and a sports fanatic by choice.



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