France news

Dugarry: Zidane should avoid coaching

February 21, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

French World Cup-winner Christophe Dugarry says he would advise his former international team-mate Zinedine Zidane to steer clear of a career in coaching.

Christophe Dugarry, Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry
AssociatedChristophe Dugarry and Zinedine Zidane played together for Bordeaux and France

Zidane, 40, has occupied a number of roles from presidential advisor to ambassador at former side Real Madrid since ending his playing career at the Spanish club in 2006.

However, having started the process of gaining his UEFA coaching badges in France, media reports from Spain have claimed Zidane will venture into the dug-out for the first time by taking charge of the nine-time European champions' Under-18 B team next season.

Dugarry, a close friend of Zidane during their time as members of France's victorious 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 sides, told RMC radio it is not a decision he can agree with, although he can understand his motivation.

"If he asked my advice, I wouldn't advise him to become a coach," the 40-year-old, who has worked as a pundit since hanging up his boots, said. "[But] there are things that you feel deep down inside and that you want to do. When Laurent Blanc decided to coach, we often bumped into each other at golf and he told me he wanted to see if he was capable of doing it.

"When you've had a great playing career, you want to see if you can handle a squad, experience more exceptional emotions so why not? Everyone has to see what they're capable of doing, and have a feeling for it. I don't have that. If Zizou feels that deep down, why not? He loves football - he has a real vision of the sport."

After taking courses to gain a qualification to be 'a general manager of a professional sports club' at a respected French university, Zidane started the process of gaining his coaching badges last year. In an interview with France Football magazine in October, he made it clear he had thought long and hard about his new career direction.

He said: "I asked myself the question: 'Do you want to coach?' And the answer is: 'Yes, I want to'. I said to myself: 'Now I want to do something different'. Sporting director or club official is not exactly the same thing. I took my time to arrive at that decision. It's been six years since I stopped playing. The period of reflection was long."

Blanc had responded to those comments by saying: "I do not know if I can picture Zidane as a national coach, but I would like it if the people of football were more committed to the sport than the television world."