LONDON. – It could be football’s greatest ever dynasty – Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid’s head coach and his four sons out on the pitch in the famous white shirts playing for him. It sounds far-fetched, but then so does the idea that Zidane could be Real’s B-team coach and that his offspring would be at various levels of the club’s youth system – which is already a reality.
Sportsmail looks at the chances of things going to the next level.
Zinedine Zidane has spent three days in Munich this week under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid are hoping that what the teacher did for Barcelona the pupil will one day do for them.
Club president Florentino Perez has decided he wants the former player to lead the side one day and Zidane is preparing for the possibility that it could come as soon as next season.
He is one of seven French coaches spending this week at Bayern Munich’s training facilities where along with former Real Madrid team-mate Claude Makelele he is seeing first hand how Guardiola works.
Next season he could be in the same position Guardiola was in 2008 – having graduated from his club’s youth system to take charge of the first team. He will cut the same sharp-suited imposing figure on the touchline and he will command the same respect among rivals, players and media, but will he be as prolifically successful?
Zidane currently coaches Real Madrid’s second team, Castilla, in one of Spain’s four regional third-tier divisions. If Castilla win their division they will go into a play-off for a place in the second division next season. But by then Carlo Ancelotti may have moved on and Zidane may have stepped up to replace him.
There is no question a career as a coach is what the former Ballon d’Or and World Cup winner wants. As well as this week’s masterclass with Guardiola he has also been to Marseille to watch Marcelo Bielsa work.
He wants to coach the France team one day and if their 2016 campaign on home soil were to end in tears there would be calls for him to take charge of the national side he once lead to the biggest prize in football.
The Madrid job will probably come before the national team. however. Those who have seen him at close quarters on the training pitch say he’s inspirational and has none of that haughtiness that sometimes prevents great players from being able to improve lesser mortals.
He’s tough and media-savvy after years of coping with the intense spotlight shone on him in France where he is adored far more than Michel Platini – his rival as the country’s greatest ever player, but one who never won the World Cup.
Ultimately expecting him to emulate Guardiola might be asking too much – the Bayern Munich coach’s tactical brain and obsessive character make him unique.
He also has the baggage of having been so good as a player. Diego Maradona and Pele never made it as managers, but Alfredo di Stefano and Johan Cruyff did, so there are precedents.
And the sons…
Star of Real Madrid C, Enzo, wears the Fernandez name on his back, the family name of the Zidane boys’ mother Veronique Fernandez – a dancer who he met in 1988 playing for Cannes. It perhaps weighs less heavily on the shoulders of the young prodigies.
Already a Spain Under-19 international Enzo, just like his siblings, has the choice of three countries.
Playing for France would please his father; and so might playing for Algeria, which is his third possibility because of his grandfather.
He is the player who most resembles his father in playing style. He plays as a No. 10 and is one rung on the ladder below Castilla.
Enzo is very much the French romantics’ choice to make it – being named after Uruguayan playmaker Enzo Francescoli and playing in Zidane’s position.
But many in France believe it will be goalkeeper Luca – born just before his father won the World Cup in 1998 – who will go further. He currently plays for Real Madrid’s Under-17s Juvenil B team and is impressing everyone at the club.
Theo and Elyaz
Zidane’s youngest sons have both grown up in Spain. Elyaz has recently turned 10 and is a midfielder and Theo is also a midfielder who will be 13 in May.
They are both in Real Madrid boys’ teams and in theory they would both also have the option of playing for Spain, France or Algeria if they reached international levels.
If all four sons made it to international football and didn’t pick the same country, they could even replicate the situation at the last World Cup when the Boateng brothers Kevin-Prince and Jerome faced each other for Ghana and Germany.
Will the Zidane dynasty become a reality at the Santiago Bernabeu?
It’s impossible to say how the youngest two will develop but the eldest are well on their way to becoming professionals. Can they do it at Madrid with Zidane as their footballing as well as natural father?
Well, Zidane has to get the big job first, then the boys are in the realms of “famous footballers with famous footbaling fathers as manager” syndrome. Nigel Clough and Jordi Cruyff didn’t match the achievements of their coaching dads but did make good careers for themselves.
It is always tough for the sons of great players. Pele’s son, Edinho, served Santos as a goalkeeper but also served time for drugs and money-laundering offences.
And when Diego Maradona’s son, Diego Sinagra, was playing youth football at Napoli, an Italian journalist was overheard assessing the boy’s chances of emulating his father and saying: “If you threw Maradona an orange he’d catch it on his foot, juggle it and balance it on his head. If you threw his son an orange he’d catch it in his hands, peel it and eat it.”
Zidane’s children clearly have the talent to follow their father’s footsteps and with their dad on the verge of a managerial career at Real Madrid the possibilities of a “Zizou Dynasty” cannot be ruled out. – Mailonline.