Real Madrid accuses FFF president of ‘disrespect’ for Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid have demanded an apology from French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet for his comments about Zinedine Zidane.

The Spanish giants have defended their former player and manager after Le Graet told French TV channel RMC Sports he wouldn’t answer the phone if Zidane called about coaching France.

Le Graet said he “didn’t care” what Zidane did next after the FFF announced on Saturday that it had extended France boss Didier Deschamps’ contract until 2026.

A statement from Real Madrid read: “Real Madrid deplores the unfortunate statements made by the president of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, about Zinedine Zidane, one of the greatest legends of world sport.

“These words show disrespect to one of the most admired figures by football fans around the world and our club expects an immediate rectification.

“Zinedine Zidane, world champion and European champion defending his country’s jersey, among many other titles, represents the values ​​of sport and has demonstrated this throughout his professional career as a player and coach.”

Speculation that Zidane is a popular candidate to succeed Deschamps has been mounting after France’s World Cup final defeat to Argentina last month.

Le Graet told RMC: “I know very well that Zidane has always been on the radar. He had many supporters, some were waiting for Deschamps to leave… But who can seriously reproach Deschamps? No one.

“He (Zidane) does what he wants, it’s none of my business. I never met him, we never thought about parting with Didier.

“He can go wherever he wants to the club… If Zidane tried to contact me? Certainly not, I wouldn’t even pick up the phone.

Asked if he thought Zidane would now run for power in Brazil, Le Graet added: “I don’t care, he can go where he wants.”

Zidane, who left as head coach of Real Madrid in 2021, won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship as a French player.

The 50-year-old also won the Champions League as a Real Madrid player in 2002 and as their manager led them to three consecutive European titles between 2016 and 2018.

France and Paris St Germain striker Kylian Mbappe also defended Zidane following Le Graet’s comments.

The 2022 Qatar Golden Boot winner said on Twitter: “Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect a legend like this…”

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