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French football legend Zidane to coach Real Madrid reserve team

AFP

French football legend Zinedine Zidane has been named coach of Real Madrid’s third division reserve team, Castilla, for next season, the club announced on Wednesday.

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“Zizou, who was Carlo Ancelotti's first squad assistant coach this year, will start a new stage of his career at Real Madrid," the club said in a statement, referring to Zidane by his nickname.

Zidane, 42, played for Cannes, Bordeaux and Juventus before joining Real Madrid in 2001. He retired as a player after the 2006 World Cup.

He became France's playmaker in the buildup to the 1998 World Cup on home soil, and earned legendary status with two headed goals in the 3-0 win over Brazil in the final.

Four years later injury spoiled his World Cup in South Korea and Japan, but he was instrumental in leading France into the 2006 World Cup final in Germany against Italy only to be sensationally sent off for headbutting defender Marco Materazzi in the chest before the Italians won on penalties.

He had recently been linked with the vacant managerial job at his former club Bordeaux, but elected instead to stay at Real where he is regarded as one of the club's finest ever players.

He enjoys a close relationship with Ancelotti and will now be in charge of developing younger players for first team duty. He would also be ideally placed to take over from the Italian when he decides to move on.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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