French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet has recently renewed the contract of Didier Deschamps for Les Bleus, in spite of heavy speculation that Zinedine Zidane wanted the job. As has become apparent though, Le Graet has no relationship to speak of with Zidane.
Speaking on French television, Le Graet said he couldn’t care less about were Zidane took his next job, as reported by Marca.
“Zidane in Brazil? I don’t give a damn, let him go where he wants! He can go wherever he wants, to a club…”
“Did Zidane try to contact me? Of course not, I wouldn’t even have picked up the phone. To tell him to find another club? Make a special program for him to find a club or a national team.”
This has caused outrage in France and beyond, with Kylian Mbappe quickly leaping to the defence of the Marseille and Real Madrid legend. His views were shared by many, as the likes of Djibril Cisse, Franck Ribery and even the French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera also expressing their frustration.
On Monday, Real Madrid even released an official statement criticising Le Graet’s comments, remarking that his comments lacked respect and demanding he correct his statements.
Unbeknownst to Los Blancos apparently, Le Graet has already done so.
“I would like to present my personal apologies for these comments which do not at all reflect my thoughts, nor my regard for the player he was and the coach he has become,” Le Graet said (via MD).
Here is Real Madrid’s full statement below:
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.