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May 21, 2014

Bordeaux give up on Zidane

Bordeaux have reluctantly given up on appointing Zinedine Zidane as their next coach.

Les Girondins are searching for a replacement for Francis Gillot, who announced his departure following their final match of the season. They had been strongly linked with the former France playmaker, who is currently assistant to Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.

But club president Jean-Louis Triaud told radio station RTL: "Unfortunately, things have not worked out for us to recruit Zidane. I can confirm today he will not be the coach of Bordeaux. When it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be. We have to turn the page and move on to other things.

"It is his attachment to Real Madrid. You cannot forget that two of his children are in Real Madrid's youth system, that his family is well used to Madrid where they have lived for nearly 11 years. It's a difficult context."

Zidane played for Bordeaux for four years early in his career, winning the 1995 Intertoto Cup and reaching the UEFA Cup final the following year, when he was also named Ligue 1 player of the year. He then moved on to huge success with Juventus and then Real including winning three league titles in all. He lifted the Champions League trophy in 2002 with Real, having twice reached the final with Juve.

He was part of the France teams that won the World Cup in 1998 - when he was named world player of the year - and the European Championship two years later, but was memorably sent off in the 2006 World Cup final for headbutting Italy's Marco Materazzi.

Bordeaux finished seventh in Ligue 1 this season under Gillot, who previously guided them to the 2013 Coupe de France and twice helped them qualify for the Europa League.

He said after the season-ending draw with Monaco: "It was my last match. I have to rest. I hope to return with another club next season. We will wait and see."

Former France defender Willy Sagnol and current Club Brugge coach Michel Preud'homme have also been linked with the vacancy.

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