Nasser Al-Khelaifi: Zidane will not coach PSG
Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has revealed that France legend and former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane won’t be signed as the club’s new manager with Mauricio Pochettino set to leave this summer.
According to Al-Khelaifi, OGC Nice manager Christopher Galtier is the best candidate to take over when Pochettino steps down.
Over time, the Real Madrid legend has been heavily linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain as the new coach but the PSG management has placed Christopher Galtier as their next manager. Galtier was the coach who helped Lille to win the Ligue 1 in the 2020-2021 season before moving to Nice.
His performance over the years is why PSG reached out to him and could make him their new manager ahead of next season.
Speaking to Le Parisian, Al-Khelaifi disclosed that Paris Saint-Germain had never been in talks with Zidane and had ‘chosen another option”.
“Zinedine Zidane? I’ll tell you one thing: we never spoke with him, neither directly nor indirectly”, he said. “Many clubs are interested in him, national teams too, but we have never discussed with him.
“We have chosen another option than Zidane. We’ve chosen a coach who will be the best for what we want to put in place. The fans disappointed to have Galtier and not Zidane?
“The dream is one thing, the reality another. Dreaming big is good but today, we must above all be realistic, we no longer want flashy, bling-bling, it’s the end of glitter. We want reality.”
Paris Saint-Germain president also said that the club would soon reach an agreement with Nice head coach Christopher Galtier. “We are having discussions with Nice,” he said. “It’s no secret. I hope we will find an agreement quickly.”
Meanwhile, Zinedine Zidane who celebrated his 50th birthday recently reacted to the 2006 World Cup headbutting on Italy’s Marco Materazzi. Zidane said that he’s not proud of the ugly incident which ended his career abruptly.
Recall that the Frenchman helped France to win the FIFA World in 1998 and helped them to reach the final of the tournament in 2006 before he retired from international football.
Ahead of the 2006 World Cup final which Italy won 5-3 on penalties, Zidane revealed that it would be his last game as a football player but didn’t plan to get sent off in the match. Zidane was shown a red card after he head-butted Materazzi in the second half.
“I’m not at all proud of what I did but it’s part of my past,” he said during his birthday celebration.
“I had a second or two to think about how to take it. I had in front of me a goalkeeper who knows me really well so I had to think of something. “In that effort, there was certainly technique, I don’t think there was madness. You can miss a penalty but in that moment it is what I had to do.”