After Noel Le Grat, the head of the French Football Federation (FFF), indicated he would not pick up the phone if Zinedine Zidane called to discuss coaching the national team, Kylian Mbappé has spoken out in favour of Zidane.
After Didier Deschamps guided France to their second straight World Cup final, which they lost to Argentina on penalties in Qatar last month, the FFF announced the renewal of his contract on Saturday. Prior to Deschamps’ retirement, Zidane was the favourite to replace him.
Le Garet’s statement
When asked if France’s 1998 World Cup champion and cultural icon Zidane will now manage Brazil instead, Le Garet stated, “I don’t give a damn, he can go wherever he wants. I know very well that Zidane was always on the radar. He had a lot of supporters; some were waiting for Deschamps’s departure … But who can make serious reproaches to Deschamps? Nobody.
“He does what he wants; it’s none of my business. I’ve never met him, we’ve never considered parting with Didier. He can go where he wants, to a club … If Zidane tried to contact me? Certainly not, I wouldn’t even pick up the phone.”
Support for Zidane
Mbappe then publicly said on Twitter, “Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect the legend like that.” There were many others that also supported Mbappe, a number of French politicians got involved with the matter as they disagreed with what Le Garet had to say.
Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, who is the Minister of Sports for France stated, “Yet more out-of-touch comments and on top of that a shameful lack of respect, which hurts us all, towards a legend of football and sport.”
Fan reaction towards the whole ordeal
Mbappe wasn't impressed with French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet's comments about Zinedine Zidane 😮
Respect 🤝 pic.twitter.com/TYOlhvM2du
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 8, 2023
ESPN tweeted about the whole ordeal and placed Mbappe’s tweet in a screenshot. Fans agreed with Mbappe and said that “the clown (referring to Le Garet) needs to be put in his place.”
Ironically, Ronaldo fans came into the picture out of pure randomness defending Ronaldo and Zidane by stating, “Another reason why Ronaldo is better than Messi. Ronaldo is considered the greatest ever footballer for his country, Portugal. Messi is still considered to be behind Maradona.”
The Ronaldo fan then added that Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo, France has Zidane, Brazil has Pele and Argentina has Maradona. Jabs against Lionel Messi were made as Maradona is still regarded highly and his legacy linking to Argentina is still strong.
Furthermore, his fans claimed that Ronaldo has given him good influence, good as in he should stick up for those who are innocently attacked. Some speculate that Mbappe and Ronaldo are still close even though it has been years since he was in Paris Saint-Germain.
Fans also stated that Zidane and Mbappe are the two players solely responsible for France’s recent World Cups. This sentiment has gotten mixed reviews as some disagreed as they stated that Mbappe only helped with the World Cup in 2018, but did not single handedly win it.
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