Zidane: Guardiola inspires me

The Frenchman has worked closely with Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti but he is in awe of the Catalan’s footballing philosophy

Zinedine Zidane has revealed that Pep Guardiola is his coaching role model, as he admitted that the Bayern Munich boss inspires him.

The former France international is widely regarded as one of the finest footballers of all time, having inspired his country to World Cup glory in 1998 before scoring one of the most famous volleys in history as Real Madrid claimed the Champions League by beating Bayer Leverkusen four years later.

Zidane, who retired in 2006, is now trying to prove himself as a coach. He served as Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Madrid for the 2013-14 season before taking charge of the Spanish side’s B team last summer.

The 42-year-old also previously worked as an advisor during Jose Mourinho’s time at the Santiago Bernabeu but Zidane still rates Guardiola as his biggest influence – even though he has never worked with the Catalan.

“Bayern were always a good team but now the club has arrived on a global level, and that is mainly due to Pep, who has given the club an extra touch of class,” the ex-attacking midfielder told Die Welt.

“He brings his own take on the game and is making the difference at Bayern.

“He is a great coach. I knew him as a player, as we often played against one another at the highest level, but now I am a rookie coach and he is an experienced, world-class coach.

“He is doing a fantastic job at Bayern, as he did at Barcelona. I’m fascinated by how he works and I can learn a lot from him.”

Zidane also revealed that he had offers from clubs in major European leagues before eventually deciding to take charge of Real Madrid Castilla, explaining that he is determined to work his way up from the bottom.

“It was a conscious decision to take charge of Real Madrid Castilla. I was good as a player but as a coach I’m a beginner,” he added.

“I will gradually improve. Of course there were offers from the best leagues, but I want to do well and develop, and not because of my past but because of my work and coaching ability.

“I have a lot to learn. Coaching is a very different job to playing football. The learning process takes time.”

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