Supposedly, Zinedine Zidane, the ex-Real Madrid boss, has rejected the opportunity to take an international coaching job in 2024.

After their early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations, Algeria allegedly sought Zinedine Zidane‘s services as a new coach. In the wake of Djamel Belmadi’s departure, the Algerian Football Association is now seeking a replacement.

The surprising group-stage elimination from the 2023 tournament led to the dismissal of manager Djamel Belmadi. The severance payout that the 47-year-old received from the Algerian FA has put him in the middle of a controversy. Thus, FIFA are reportedly planning to look into the matter.

The Greens had never before been eliminated in the group stages of the AFCON in consecutive tournaments. Even more astonishing is the fact that, after winning the 2019 edition under Belmadi’s leadership, huge things were anticipated from them.

Some prominent figures, including Herve Renard and Vahid Halilhodzic, have surfaced as potential successors to Belmadi. It seems, however, that the Algerian FA had other plans and were hoping to get Zinedine Zidane on board instead.

What did Zidane say to Algerian FA?

Linked to the open position of manager at Algeria this month, Zidane maintains ties to the country of his parents’ birth. While he was born and brought up in Marseille, France, his family is from the North African country.

“I have an affinity with the Arabic world,” he said when asked about his heritage back in 2012. “I have it in my blood, via my parents. I’m very proud of being French, but also very proud of having these roots and this diversity.”

L’Equipe reports that Walid Sadi, head of the Algerian Football Federation, contacted Zidane in the last few hours. But the key player in France’s 1998 World Cup victory has decided not to return to coaching.

Zidane is pleased by the attention but is determined to sit this one out for the time being. The fact that the 51-year-old has remained unemployed since leaving Real Madrid in 2021 has sparked curiosity over his next move.

What now for Zidane?

The former midfield maestro’s aspirations to head France’s national team are well-known. But Didier Deschamps just got a contract extension that will keep him in charge until 2026.

Furthermore, Zidane’s future seems cloudier now that Thierry Henry is leading the France U21 team. The article emphasizes that Zidane has lately turned down offers to lead the United States and Brazilian national teams.

Prior to Marcelo Gallardo’s appointment, Al-Ittihad extended an offer for him to coach Karim Benzema again. Nevertheless, he also turned down the Saudi League’s rich offer.

When it comes to soccer, the 1998 Ballon d’Or winner has done it all—from playing to managing—except for claiming the Africa Cup of Nations. However, it seems that he is able to resist the allure of a new challenge away from the European game’s highest level.

Zidane has a victory rate of 70.47 percent during his first stint as Madrid manager (2016–18) and 60.53 percent during his second stint (2019–21). He won three UEFA Champions League medals and two La Liga championships while he was there.

Photo credits: IMAGO / ABACAPRESS : IMAGO / agefotostock.