Zidane to soon begin coaching youth

Zinedine Zidane will shortly begin training as a soccer coach while at the same time helping out at Real Madrid's youth academy, the La Liga club said on Monday.

The 40-year-old former France international, who played for Real between 2001 and his retirement in 2006 and was World Player of the Year three times, has been working as a director of football with the Spanish champions since last year.

"This year he will complete his team management qualification," Real said in a statement on their website (www.realmadrid.com).

"That will allow him to formalise his knowledge and training which will enable him to fulfill an aspiration that he made public in the press conference at which he announced his retirement as a player in April 2006: to work with Real Madrid's youth academy," they added.

Zidane has been credited with helping Real coach Jose Mourinho get the best out of France striker Karim Benzema and he also helped convince the club to buy French defender Raphael Varane from Lens last year.

He had previously been touted as a potential France coach before fellow World Cup winner Didier Deschamps replaced another 1998 veteran, Laurent Blanc.

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