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Zidane wanted France job in 2012

Football legend Zinedine Zidane was keen to manage the French national team in 2012.

Former French international footballer Zinedine Zidane. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Zinedine Zidane sought to become manager of the French national team two years ago when Laurent Blanc refused to extend his contract after Euro 2012, the former president of the French football federation (FFF) said on Tuesday.

"Zinedine Zidane would have liked to manage Les Bleus. It is clear - he wanted it! I met him at his request," Noel Le Graet is quoted as saying in a book (World champions 98 - Secret and Power) co-written by sports reporters Gilles Verdez and Arnaud Ramsay published later this week.

Instead Le Graet backed Didier Deschamps, Zidane's captain in their 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 triumphs, and a manager with a wealth of experience.

"It was not the time (for Zidane), he first needed to manage a team," Le Graet explained.

Since then, Zidane has been appointed assistant coach at Real Madrid, where he is Carlo Ancelotti's deputy.

Deschamps will manage France in the World Cup finals after they overcame Ukraine in a playoff.