Real Madrid release statement condemning France Football President's comments on Zidane and Benzema

Benzema and Zidane won several laurels for Real Madrid together

Real Madrid release statement condemning France Football President's comments on Zidane and Benzema

Ayoola Kelechi 11:58 - 09.01.2023

After the President's comments on Zidane and Benzema, Real Madrid sent out a statement widely condemning Le Graet's words about the club's legends

Real Madrid have released a strong statement condemning the French Football Federation President, Noël Le Graet’s comments regarding former France and Real Madrid star Zinedine Zidane and current Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema.

Le Graet, made some out-of-turn remarks concerning a possible return for Zidane to the French national team as manager.

The club in turn have put out a statement labelling Le Graet’s comments as unfortunate and representing a “lack of respect” for one of football’s most idolized players and a symbol of the French national team and Real Madrid.

Le Graet has a rocky relationship with both Real Madrid greats

Zidane who represented France on 108 occasions and lead them to World Cup and UEFA Euros success in 1998 and 2000 respectively was heavily linked with the coaching job after France lost the World Cup final, but those rumours were squashed with a new deal for Didier Deschamps.

Despite the final loss, Deschamps has been trusted with four more years at the helm of the national team, meaning that Zidane was officially out of the running for the job for the time being.

Le Graet (R) was keen to show commitment to Didier Deschamps (L)

To further show his commitment to Deschamps, Le Graet was keen to talk down on Zidane while speaking to RMC Sport, saying that he did not “give a toss” where Zidane ended up next in his managerial career, and had never considered the three time UEFA Champions League winning coach for the French national team job.

When asked about Zidane potentially joining Brazil by journalists, he said, “Zidane to Brazil? I don’t give a toss. He can go wherever he wants, to a club or to a national team. I don’t really care about it. Did he try to ring me? Definitely not. I wouldn’t have even picked up the phone for him.”

Le Graet has also famously had runnings-in with current Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema who was an outcast from the national team for several years allegedly on Le Graet’s request.

While Benzema was exiled from the national team, he helped Real Madrid to four UEFA Champions League titles and even returned to the national team to help them win the UEFA Nations League in 2021. 

Benzema was once so offended by the President’s comments on his quality and form, that he tweeted in response, daring Le Graet to allow him to play for another national team.

Real Madrid C. F. regrets the unfortunate statements about Zidane

Real Madrid’s statement released on Monday about President Le Graet’s comments read: “Real Madrid C. F. regrets the unfortunate statements made by the President of the French Football Federation, Nöel Le Graët, about Zinedine Zidane, one of the greatest legends of world sport.

"These words represent a lack of respect towards one of the figures most admired by soccer fans around the world and our club expects immediate rectification.

“Zinedine Zidane, world champion and European champion defending his country's shirt, among many other titles, He represents the values of sport and has demonstrated this throughout his professional career as a player and as a coach.

Zinedine Zidane won three UEFA Champions League titles in a row as manager of Real Madrid

“The statements of the president of the French Football Federation are inappropriate for someone who holds that representation and disqualifies themselves, as they also do about our captain Karim Benzema, current Ballon d'Or, champion of the League of Nations with France in 2021 and winner of 5 Champions League, among many other titles.”