Zinedine Zidane he is a person who surprises you, who does what you do not expect, who is different. He is the coach who left Real Madrid twice and he did not mind leaving Florentino Pérez in trouble. Especially in 2018, after winning the thirteenth Champions League, and leaving without warning. He caused a mess of substitutes (Lopetegui and Solari were the most affordable options) until he took the bench again. Zidane does what he wants. It is unpredictable. But he is very clear about where he wants to be, where he can feel fulfilled, free and happy. Paris Saint-Germain does not have it as an idyllic place.

The easy thing would have been to say ‘yes’ to Qatar. He would be bathed in gold and training the sheikh’s great team. But Zidane, in addition to having his quirks, is not desperate or stupid. Among your priorities is to feel comfortable and the PSG bench, despite the fact that it is a very well-paid job, is unpleasant. This bench has ceased to be candy for coaches. Once you’re in, life isn’t so wonderful. The season at PSG takes a long time, especially for players who only find motivation on key days, until the really important games arrive.

Sergio Ramos with Mbappé and other PSG teammates

Coaching Paris Saint-Germain is like the game of the goose. You go from box to box playing the Ligue 1 and Cup matches until you fall in the Champions League and everything changes. The problem is to make a united and committed team, which has labor and tactical discipline. Mauricio Pochettino he is another one who is going to leave with a sense of failure that does not correspond to him. It is another case of an overachieving coach because of the power that the players have and, especially, the stars. Fabio Capello, a strong-arm coach who arrived at Real Madrid in his first stage to impose authority and a spirit of collective work, already said it, when he asked Lorenzo Sanz to earn one euro more than the highest-paid footballer. Soccer players who have a higher salary than their boss feel untouchable and with more power to arm wrestle.

A devouring bench

PSG is like Pancho Villa’s army. Each one wages war on their own and when the Champions League arrives they all intend to do it together. Pochettino had detected the problem, it was proposed to give balance to the structure of the team, which did not depend solely on the individualities and it has crashed. Bringing together Messi, Neymar and Mbappé was a movement as powerful as it was dangerous. Pochettino was armed with patience and it will be worth more for what is silent that the true explanations that he could give of a club that he knows how it is managed from the inside with the gifts of Nasser Al-Khelaifi and from the outside with the power that the Ultras have. It is volcanic. PSG is ungovernable, in Qatar they want the Champions League as it is and what Zidane does not want is to give himself this smack.

Florentino shows muscle in the presentation of Rüdiger: “You are in the best team in the world”

Ulises Sanchez-Flor

This project is not for Zinedine Zidane. You don’t see it. Different coaches have passed through here, some of his friends, with which he has a good knowledge of what the club is, and none have been happy. The list is long. Laurent Blanc, Ancelotti, Unai Emery, Tuchel, Pochettino… They all arrived with the hope and ambition of building a solid and lasting project and left disenchanted.

Zidane’s profile, calm, charismatic and French, fits with the management that PSG needs. The problem is that Zidane does not fit the profile of PSG. He is no longer the coach who one day was on the bench at La Roda training Castilla and the next day Florentino Pérez called him to take charge of the first team in the middle of the season. That was a leap into the void that came out like in the best movies. Zidane has no urgencies to be European champion. He continues to be in history as the coach who has won three consecutive Champions Leagues. don’t need the money. Not, of course, fame or feeling powerful. Zidane is one of those rare, as may be the case of Luis Enrique, who seeks happiness at work. Do what he likes in his way, without interference or more pressure than what he puts on. Which are many knowing his competitive nature.

Not even Messi is happy

Zidane started from the bottom on the bench and reached the top with Real Madrid. He is happy, he sets his time to return to the bench and the offer from Paris Saint-Germain neither convinces nor appeals to him. He has just said, in an interview on ‘Telefoot’, that he will continue training because he has enthusiasm and passion. The key is this reflection: “I need to surround myself with people I feel comfortable with, otherwise I can’t function.” Zidane at PSG would be surrounded by Messi, Neymar, Mbappé, Sergio Ramos, Achraf, Verratti… All very good players, but many of them worn out, in retreat and Zidane is not here to manage the decline of the stars. To any coach that you tell him if he wants to train Messi, he would be delighted. The nuance is that Messi is not happy at PSG either.

Zidane is not here to recover the best version of Messi, nor that of Neymar and much less that of Sergio Ramos. Neymar is the clear example of a star who has not adapted to Paris Saint-Germain and has been there for a few years now. It is not Zidane’s war, who is still waiting for his opportunity to join the French National Team or wait for another project in which he feels he can be constructive. Zizou may want more train Mbappé in the National Team than to the sacred cows of PSG.

Photo: Aurelién Tchouaméni in his presentation as a Real Madrid player.  (Reuters/Isabel Infantes)
Tchouaméni plays the role that Real Madrid is looking for to demonize Mbappé

Ulises Sanchez-Flor

The next step at Paris Saint-Germain is kill Mauricio Pochettino and introduce a new coach. The dismissal of the Argentine coach will cost him about 10 million euros net. the successor is Christophe Galtier, a French coach who comes from Nice and who made Lille French champion. He has little experience, but he is one of the few who dares to take on PSG. Neither Massimiliano Allegri, Antonio Conte and Mourinho, tempted like Zidane, have taken the step.

Zinedine Zidane he is a person who surprises you, who does what you do not expect, who is different. He is the coach who left Real Madrid twice and he did not mind leaving Florentino Pérez in trouble. Especially in 2018, after winning the thirteenth Champions League, and leaving without warning. He caused a mess of substitutes (Lopetegui and Solari were the most affordable options) until he took the bench again. Zidane does what he wants. It is unpredictable. But he is very clear about where he wants to be, where he can feel fulfilled, free and happy. Paris Saint-Germain does not have it as an idyllic place.

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!