Looks like Zinedine Zidane maybe a step closer to taking over the Algeria job after the World Cup. Rabah Saadane after that hugely emotional win at Khartoum has seen his team’s fortunes flatline with his tactics being questioned openly after the miserable defeat in the Serbia friendly.
Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika offered the position in a meeting with Zidane and his father at the presidential palace. Zizou was visiting Algeria as part of the futsal gala that pitted the 1998 French World Cup winning team against the Algerian all stars led by Lakhdar Belloumi. His presence electrified the 10,000 fans in attendance for the match at the Olympic dome.
One of the factors being mentioned which could predispose to this move is his personal relationship with Henri Emile who is soon to take over as the head of Algeria’s Football Federation. In 2006 Zizou returned to the country of his origin in 2006 for the first time in twenty years accompanied by his Algerian born parents.
It was an emotional return with a serious purpose. He visited a pediatric centre that he and Emile helped set up through funds raised from a charity match after a 2003 earthquake devastated the northern Algerian region of Boumerdes and destroyed the local hospital.
Emile’s association with Zidane goes back to the time when he was Les Bleus team manager in Aime Jacquet’s 1996 European Cup squad. Jacquet had just spurned Eric Cantona to bring on Zidane to the national side and his faith was vindicated immediately in a friendly against the Czech Republic at Bordeaux as Zidane went onto score a brilliant brace. Jacquet’s gamble paid of two years later as France won the World Cup.
His long managerial tenure came to an end in 2004 when Raymond Domenech took over. Emile was swept away in a back room clean up, a factor that is said to have influenced Zidane’s retirement in 2004 (from which he came back for the 2006 World Cup). Both are heavily involved in charity work with Emile also working or the French Football Federation to raise futsal’s profile within the country.
In an interview with Echourok, Zidane revealed that he followed Algerian football. He was Lakhdar Belloumi admirer and had always dreamed of playing against the legend one day. He also went onto say that it would be an honour and dream to coach Les Fennecs in the future when he had gathered more experience. Maybe in five to ten years.
That might be in an official capacity but it appears that Zizou is already working behind the scenes as Algeria’s cheerleader and offering coaching tips. In an interview with France Football (Via Goal.com).
“Maybe it’s already happened… There are some things I’d like to do but I can’t speak about them publicly. That stays between me and those involved, the players. I know some of them. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll do something with them either. All of that only concerns myself,” he added.
Yeah, that Zizou was always known for his clever no look passes. This might be one of them.