Speaking in an interview with L’Équipe, Zinedine Zidane was asked about Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
“Karim didn’t have to progress but he liked to stay after the group sessions. In front of goal, I gave him two or three tips. My staff and I liked to keep one or two players back. Even the goalkeeper. I was enjoying myself – my feet are still there! We did fun drills, challenges. And still, I would often win. I love being with my players, playing with them. It’s a way of transmitting things… There is affection.
“Karim is like the little brother I never had. I’m the youngest of the family and our relationship has grown leaps and bounds. We met when he arrived at [Real] Madrid, when I was adviser to the president and then assistant to Carlo [Ancelotti]. Now we see each other a bit less. We send each other messages. But he knows where I am. I know where he is. I’m not surprised. It’s just continuity. I knew he was capable of what he is doing. He was very good all the time at Real Madrid. The only thing is that now he’s exceptional.”
The Ballon d’Or
“It’s not just me who says give it to him [Benzema], it’s everyone! It’s more than deserved.”
Current relationship with Madrid
“I still have connections. I go to the stadium whenever I’m there. I have a box. My children and friends enjoy it too. I was at the Stade de France for the final against Liverpool.”