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‘Don’t disrespect the legend like that’ – Mbappe defends Zidane

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Mbappe defends Zidane.|
  • Mbappe hits out at the President of the French Football Federation (FFF)
  • He accused the President of disrespecting legendary French midfielder Zinedine Zidane.
  • Le Graet announced that Deschamps will remain in place until after the next FIFA World Cup.

Kylian Mbappe has accused Noel Le Graet, President of the French Football Federation (FFF), of disrespecting legendary French midfielder Zinedine Zidane.

Kylian Mbappe appears to have gone after French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet for “disrespect” towards Zinedine Zidane after the boss was asked about Les Bleus’ legendary former talisman in the aftermath of Didier Deschamps’ new deal until 2026.

Deschamps will remain in place until after the next FIFA World Cup.

Mbappe with Deschamps

Mbappe with French Nationa Team Coach, Deschamps.|PHOTO: Getty Images|

On Saturday, Le Graet and Deschamps announced that the French tactician will remain in place until after the next FIFA World Cup. Zidane had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Deschamps if the 2022 Qatar campaign did not go as planned. France reached the final under Deschamps and lost on penalties to Argentina, with Mbappe scoring three goals. So, the decision to extend the 1998-winning former captain and the 2018-winning head coach was somewhat predictable.

When asked what Zidane would do now that Deschamps is staying, Le Graet launched into a bizarre and winding tirade that showed little regard for another 1998 champion and 2006 beaten finalist who has gone on to enjoy managerial success with former club Real Madrid.

“Zidane is France. We don’t disrespect the legend like that.”

Kyllian Mbappe

Kyllian Mbappe. Photo by Football365

“I’d be surprised if he went there,” Le Graet said of Zidane’s Brazil connections on RMC Sport. “But he is free to do whatever he wants. It is unimportant to me. We (Le Graet and Zidane) never met, and we (the FFF) never considered parting ways with Didier. I couldn’t give a damn. He has the option of joining a big club or a national team. Certainly not (asked if Zidane tried to call him) — I would not have answered the phone.”

Despite Le Graet’s influential position at the FFF, 2022 World Cup leading scorer Mbappe appeared to aim at his President and jumped to one of his icons’ defence and a hugely popular national figure by denouncing the extreme lack of respect shown.

Mbappe took to Twitter to express his surprise at the FFF president’s remarks, writing: “Zidane is France. We don’t disrespect the legend like that.”

Due to Deschamps’ extension, Zidane is unlikely to be available as France’s manager until at least 2024 and the UEFA Euros in Germany, which could mean that he returns to the club game in the meantime. L’Equipe said Le Graet pushed through the extension without consulting other FFF members.

The results of an audit of the FFF are expected in mid-February, as Le Graet enters the final year of his mandate, which expires in 2024 anyway. Given the numerous allegations against the FFF, particularly regarding sexual misconduct and potential cover-ups, Le Graet’s tenure may be cut short.

He should Apologize

Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane Photo/David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images

Amelie Oudea Castera, the sports minister who is overseeing the federation’s audit, also took “offence” to Le Graet’s “shameful lack of respect” and demanded that the FFF president “apologize” for going too far with his remarks. Zidane has been considered for several positions in recent months, most recently declining an offer to become the head coach of the United States. The former Real Madrid and France star, who has been out of work since ending his second stint as manager at the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the 2020-21 season, has also been linked with the Brazil national team job.

 

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