Karim Benzema hails Zinedine Zidane as the ‘perfect man’ as he reveals his sadness at the coach quitting Real Madrid at the end of the season… with the striker vowing to ‘thank him every day’ for his support
- Zinedine Zidane chose to quit as Real Madrid boss at the end of the season
- Karim Benzema has paid tribute to Zidane and thanked him for all his efforts
- Madrid ace Benzema earned a France recall and enjoyed another prolific year
- After his tally eased pressure on Zidane, Benzema labelled him a ‘perfect man’
Karim Benzema has warmly labelled Zinedine Zidane as the ‘perfect man’ and admitted he was disappointed the coach left Real Madrid.
Zidane chose to walk away from the Bernabeu last week after a trophyless campaign at the club, although Benzema enjoyed fine form under him and earned a surprise recall for France.
And now, back in the fold on the international stage ahead of Euro 2020, Benzema took the time to pay tribute to compatriot Zidane and thanked the legendary former midfielder for all his work.
Karim Benzema warmly labelled former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane as the ‘perfect man’
‘Zizou has always been behind me, supported, and helped to reach this level,’ Benzema said at a press conference at the weekend. ‘I will thank him every day.
‘Of course I am disappointed that he is leaving Real, because he is a great manager and has won a lot of trophies.
‘On a human level, he is the perfect man. I would say the word magnificent even to describe it. But that’s how it is, and life goes on.’
Benzema (right) enjoyed a fine season in front of goal and has paid tribute to Zidane’s efforts
The evergreen Benzema scored 30 goals and recorded nine assists from his 46 appearances in all competitions this term, and often stepped up to salvage a result for Madrid to ease the pressure on Zidane.
But the club ultimately failed to win a trophy this year, having finished behind champions Atletico Madrid in LaLiga and been knocked out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage by Chelsea.
Their barren spell saw Zidane exit after his second spell and Madrid are currently on the lookout for his successor.
Sportsmail reported earlier this month that Zidane would quit at Madrid even if they did pip neighbours Atletico to the title, because he did not feel he had the backing of president Florentino Perez.
Zidane had chose to quit Madrid at the end of the season after failing to secure any trophies
It is unclear where Zidane may head to next. The 48-year-old was touted to take up the hotseat at Juventus after Andrea Pirlo’s axing, but Massimiliano Allegri returned to the club instead.
However, it has been claimed by L’Equipe that Zidane does not plan to take a break from management, with the tactician keen for a new role as soon as possible.
There is unlikely to be a lack of options for him after his successful time at Madrid. Across both his tenures, Zidane won two LaLiga crowns and also clinched a sensational three Champions League trophies in a row.
French newspaper L’Equipe reported that Zidane wants to go straight into another elite job
Meanwhile, the Bernabeu hierarchy are believed to have identified Mauricio Pochettino as their preferred candidate to become their new manager.
Goal have claimed that Pochettino has now officially informed Paris Saint-Germain of his desire to leave, and he is understood to be keen on sealing a return to Tottenham, who he took charge of between 2014 and 2019.
But with Madrid also on the radar, Pochettino looks set for a difficult decision this summer.