Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid come to Zinedine Zidane's defence following 'disrespect' from French FA president

Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid defend Zinedine Zidane
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid have publicly supported Zinedine Zidane after the French Football Federation (FFF) president, Noel Le Graet, claimed he would ignore calls from the 1998 World Cup winner if he attempted to phone him. 

Zinedine Zidane has repeatedly been linked to the France national team manager position in recent years, with the former Real Madrid boss reportedly keen on taking over from Didier Deschamps. 

However, the FFF announced on Saturday that Deschamps had signed a contract extension, keeping him in charge until at least the 2026 World Cup. Indeed, his results have justified the extension, reaching a second consecutive World Cup final last month. 

While speaking to French broadcaster RMC about the decision to extend Deschamps' contract, Le Graet was asked about the possibility of Zidane now managing Brazil instead. His response allowed little room for reconciliation between the pair, it seems. 

“I don’t give a damn, he can go wherever he wants," Le Graet said regarding Zidane. "I know very well that Zidane was always on the radar. He had a lot of supporters; some were waiting for Deschamps’s departure… But who can make serious reproaches to Deschamps? Nobody.

“He [Zidane] does what he wants; it’s none of my business. I’ve never met him, we’ve never considered parting with Didier. He can go where he wants, to a club… If Zidane tried to contact me? Certainly not, I wouldn’t even pick up the phone.”

For Mbappe, though, Le Graet's callous dismissal of Zidane - even under hypothetical circumstances - didn't sit right. The Paris Saint-Germain forward took to Twitter (opens in new tab) to vent his frustrations, without directly pointing the tweet in the FFF president's direction.

“Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect the legend like that," Mbappe said. 

Real Madrid, for whom Zidane won three Champions League trophies in a row for as manager between 2016 and 2018, also released a statement (opens in new tab) opposing Le Graet's comments.

"Real Madrid C.F. laments the unfortunate comments made by the president of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, regarding Zinedine Zidane, one of the world's biggest sporting legends," a statement read.
"These remarks show a lack of respect for one of the most admired figures by football fans around the world and our club is awaiting an immediate correction. Zinedine Zidane, World and European champion representing his country, amongst many other honours, he embodies the values of the sport and has proven this throughout his professional career as a player and as a coach.

"The statements by the president of the French Football Federation are inappropriate for someone holding such representation and are in themselves unsuitable."

Zidane won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship with France as a player, as well as finishing runner-up in the 2006 World Cup after scoring a goal in the final. 

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.