Zidane eager to prove worth as coach
Zinedine Zidane has declared his wish to show he "can bring something as a coach" as the man he is mooted to replace, Claudio Ranieri, prepares to discuss his future at Monaco.
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After ending his playing career after the 2006 World Cup final, Zidane, 41, has had a number of roles at his last club, Real Madrid, before being appointed assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti at the Santiago Bernabeu last summer.
The former France international has made no secret of his desire to take full charge of a team in the future. He reportedly asked the French FA if he could succeed Laurent Blanc as national team boss in 2012 and, in an interview with Audi, Zidane acknowledged that, after having spent time with his family following the end of his playing career, he now wants to commit himself to football once again.
"I wanted to enjoy my family, my children, because for 16 or 18 years, I was just focused on football," Zidane, who has four sons, was quoted as saying by RMC. "So, when I stopped, I gave myself to my family. Now, I want to do something, come back into football and show once again that I can bring something as a coach. As a player, you play a game and you go home. Coach, it's different. He's responsible for 23 or 25 players and it's a different job, which I like."
Monaco are reportedly considering giving Zidane his first senior coaching role, although the names of Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone and Southampton's Mauricio Pochettino have also been put forward.
That would mean ending Ranieri's tenure with a year remaining on the Italian's contract. Despite the 62-year-old former Chelsea and Juventus boss having guided the team from Ligue 2 last season and already clinched automatic Champions League group-stage qualification with a guaranteed top-two finish, the Italian's position has been in question throughout the campaign.
The recent Coupe de France semifinal defeat to eventual champions Guingamp weakened Ranieri's position further, and after weeks of persistent questioning on the matter, Ranieri told the media he would seek a meeting with his bosses this week to discuss his future.
"I think this week, I'm going to speak, to set up a meeting," he said. "Now we're assured of second place, it's going to speed up. The more time goes on, the more sure I am of one thing. But that I keep for myself. What is certain is that I will coach next season."