‘Zidane said yes right away’

Florentino Perez say Zinedine Zidane agreed to become Real Madrid Coach ‘without hesitation’ and compared him to Alfredo Di Stefano.

Zidane replaced Rafa Benitez earlier in January having been on the bench of Real Madrid Castilla, Perez revealing the swift accord to France Football.

“He said yes right away, without hesitation. It was clear and powerful and seemed to confirm what I already knew: Zidane was ready for this new and exciting challenge,” the President said.

“People here fell in love with Zidane. Many draw a parallel with Di Stefano as the older generations say with pride ‘I saw Di Stefano play.’ Well, the newer generations say ‘I saw Zidane play!’”

The status of two French players at the club – Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema, the latter facing legal trouble for alleged involvement in an attempt to blackmail Mathieu Valbuena – was raised, Perez praising both.

“Benzema? We’ve supported him and always will. After talking to him and what I know of him, I find it impossible he did anything wrong,” he replied.

“He’s a good kid and I have no doubt that, above all, he wanted to help Valbuena, his friend. Really.

“I’m convinced Varane will one day be the captain of Madrid. He has the fans’ love and he’s not only a great player but an exemplary person.”

Tags Florentino Perez Karim Benzema Raphael Varane Zinedine Zidane