Zidane says he will be new Real sporting director

07 July 2011 04:00

French great Zinedine Zidane said on Thursday he will be the new sporting director of Real Madrid's first team next season.

The 39-year-old former midfielder, who played for Real between 2001 and 2006, has been a special advisor to club president Florentino Perez since 2009, helping create a link between the squad and the Bernabeu management.

"I will be the first team's sporting director," Zidane told reporters on the sidelines of a charity match in Madrid.

The three-time FIFA World Player of the Year said he was still not sure what his functions would be, although Spanish media said it would involve working more closely with Real coach Jose Mourinho.

"We will see. Everyone asks me the same thing," he said, adding he will begin his new role on Monday.

"Mourinho influenced this decision, but also Florentino," Zidane added.

"Real Madrid is the most important thing that happened to me, both as a footballer and as a person. I will continue to work with the club because it is the best."

Real have not officially announced Zidane's new role. The club have been without a sporting director since Perez sacked Jorge Valdano at the end of last season, reportedly at the insistence of Mourinho.

Zidane helped Real win the 2002 Champions League with a memorable goal in the final against Bayer Leverkusen.

He retired from football after his fifth season with Real in 2006 and the World Cup that year.

Source: AFP