Real Madrid president wants Zidane to navigate post-Mourinho era

Madrid – Real Madrid President Florentino Perez envisages a future with Zinedine Zidane as coach, but for the moment he wants the former France great to play a bigger role in steering the club through the post-Jose Mourinho era.

While the 66-year-old construction magnate’s current four-year term is up next month, Perez is unlikely to face an election challenge and is looking to the popular former Real and France midfielder to be his new sporting figurehead.

Real and Mourinho agreed to part ways last week after a three-year stint which produced a La Liga title, one King’s Cup, but no major silverware this season – considered a poor return for the world’s richest club by income.

“We don’t know who will be the new coach,” Perez told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser today when asked about their approach for Paris St Germain’s Carlo Ancelotti to replace Mourinho.

“But we want this new sporting project to be lead by Zidane,” he added. “I hope one day he will be coach. When we choose the coach, the new person and him will analyse the team so we can take a qualitative step forward.”

Zidane played for Real from 2001 until his retirement in 2006 and was World Player of the Year three times.

He has been working as director of football the last two years, though it has been unclear exactly what his responsibilities are. He has also been taking his coaching badge while working with the club’s youth academy.

Potential presidential opponents to Perez have a week left to throw their hats into the ring for an election by club members scheduled for June 16, but with no rivals expected, he is set to be returned unopposed.

“If there is no election, we will take charge next Tuesday and then we will start to think about the coach,” Perez said.

Under new statutes agreed last year, a challenger has to have been a club member for at least 20 years and personally provide a bank guarantee worth 15% of the club’s budget – about €75 million (R943.4 million) – rather than relying on a third party.

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