In an official statement, Noel Le Gras, President of the French Football Federation, apologized to his counterpart, Zinedine Zidane, the French football legend.
And Le Gra had made statements that some saw as disgraceful towards the former captain of the French national team, following the renewal of Didier Deschamps’ contract as technical director of the Dukes.
Le Gra apologized in a statement released to the Associated Press:
“I would like to apologize for my statements which do not at all reflect my beliefs, nor my appreciation for the player he was or the coach he has become.
I did an interview with Radio Monte Carlo that I didn’t have to do because they were looking to stir up controversy between Deschamps and Zidane, both icons of French football.
I admit that my statements were foolish and caused misunderstandings. Zidane is well aware of the enormous respect I have for him, just like the rest of the French people.”
What did the President of the French Federation say
After announcing the renewal of coach Didier Deschamps’ contract until 2026, Le Gra was asked about Zinedine Zidane, who was a candidate to succeed the coach.
The President of the French Federation said: “I don’t care if Zidane takes over training Brazil.”
“I invite journalists to set up a special program to find a team for him,” he added.
He explained, “I assure you that Zidane would not have answered the phone if I called him to take over the leadership of the national team.”
Le Gra received a torrent of heated reactions, head on Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe And the French national team.
Mbappe wrote on Twitter: “Zidane is France. We should not disrespect the legend in this way.”
Amelie Odea Castera also tweeted The French Minister of Sports, via her Twitter account:
“More uncommunicative comments, and on top of that a disgraceful lack of respect, and this is what hurts us all towards a legend of football and sport in general. The president of the largest sports federation in France should not say that. Excuse us for this statement, Zinedine Zidane, please, he crossed the line “.
Real Madrid, in turn, came to issue an official statement To defend his legend as a player and as a coach.
Real Madrid’s statement came as follows:
Real Madrid regrets the unfortunate statements made by Noel Le Gras, President of the French Football Federation, regarding Zinedine Zidane, one of the greatest legends in world sport.
These words amount to a disrespect for one of world football’s most popular icons. Our club is waiting for an immediate correction.
Zinedine Zidane is a world and European champion with his country’s national team shirt among many other titles in his career. He represents the values of sport and has proven this throughout his professional career as a player and as a coach.
The statements of the President of the French Football Federation are inappropriate from a person in a similar position, just like his statements some time ago about our captain Karim Benzema, current Ballon d’Or winner, UEFA Nations League 2021 champion with France, and 5-time Champions League winner among many other titles.
Several press reports indicated that the French Federation had reached an agreement with Zidane to lead the national team after the 2022 World Cup.
However, France’s arrival in the final enabled Deschamps to activate the renewal clause in his contract, which stipulated the freedom to make a decision upon reaching the golden square.
Zidane does not intend to coach any national team except for his country, France, but now he will wait several years to realize this dream.
Deschamps renewed his contract with France until the 2026 World Cupwhich struck Zidane’s dreams in killing.
During his career, Zidane did not supervise the training of any club except Real Madrid during two separate periods.