Zinedine Zidane would have been a strong contender if Didier Deschamps walked away from the France job, but now he must look elsewhere.
Zinedine Zidane saw an obvious route back into coaching blocked off when France elected to stick with Didier Deschamps, raising the question of where the former Real Madrid boss could end up.
News broke on Saturday of a new contract for Deschamps that will keep him with France until the 2026 World Cup.
If Deschamps was unable to agree terms with the French Football Federation or decided to leave following his team’s World Cup final penalty shoot-out defeat to Argentina, Zidane appeared to be the obvious choice as his successor.
However, he must now wait for the chance to coach his country, if it ever comes, but Zidane should not give up hope of playing at the highest level of international football.
According to former Brazil playmaker Juninho Pernambucan, coaching the Selecao would be the “perfect” role for the 50-year-old former Ballon d’Or winner.
It is a long-standing tradition that only Brazilians are the head coach of the national team, but former Lyon star Juninho believes an exception should be made for Zidane.
Tite stepped down after exiting the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, creating the current vacancy.
“Football is a democratic sport. Everyone can participate, although the priority will always be a coach from your country who knows local football,” Juninho told French broadcaster RMC.
“But if you don’t have a name that is unanimous in Brazil today, why not look outside? But you can’t take someone outside because you will propose a huge contract.”
Juninho floated the name of Fernando Diniz, who is the head coach of Fluminense and “makes his team play in an incredible way”.
However, unlike Zidane, Diniz has yet to win major silverware as a coach.
“I see Zidane as the perfect coach for Brazil,” added Juninho.
In October, Zidane, who won three Champions League titles as a coach, said he wanted to return to work.
He has been linked with Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain and club opportunities may arise now that it is clear he will not be taking up the job in France.
“Do I miss the coach’s suit? No, I’m not far,” said Zidane. “Waiting, waiting a bit. Soon, soon.”