Zinedine Zidane: Real Madrid boss has changed dramatically into a real leader'

Zinedine Zidane is lifted into the air as Real Madrid celebrate winning La Liga on Sunday
Zinedine Zidane was lifted into the air in celebration after Real Madrid won 2-0 at Malaga to secure the Spanish league title

Zinedine Zidane has "changed dramatically into a real leader" having guided Real Madrid to the La Liga title says ex-France team-mate Frank Leboeuf.

Leboeuf, a fellow 1998 World Cup winner, says he never thought the "shy" Zidane would become a coach because he "wasn't a leader" in the dressing room.

"It seems that when Zinedine Zidane touches something, it becomes golden," said ex-Chelsea defender Leboeuf.

Real are aiming to retain the Champions League against Juventus on 3 June.

Since being appointed coach of the Spanish club in January 2016, Zidane has also led Real to the Club World Cup and European Super Cup.

A three-time Fifa World Player of the Year who played for Real from 2001 to 2006, Zidane had no experience of coaching at the top level when he took over from Rafael Benitez at the Bernabeu.

He had been coach of the club's B team and was a key member of the backroom staff under Carlo Ancelotti, who led Real to a 10th European title in 2014.

Zinedine Zidane scores the opening goal in the 1998 World Cup final
Frank Leboeuf (left) watches as Zinedine Zidane heads the opening goal of the 1998 World Cup final where France beat Brazil 3-0

Leboeuf told BBC World Service: "When Real Madrid decided to name him as head coach, he came into the dressing room as the guy who won the World Cup and had worked hard for the club and won the Champions League with a fantastic volley in Glasgow [in 2002], so he had the respect of the dressing room.

"But I think his work alongside Ancelotti as an assistant, and then his work in charge of the reserve team, gave him enough experience to get into the job."

Leboeuf says he expects Zidane to be the next France coach as "it's hard to stay for long at Real Madrid" under the presidency of the Florentino Perez.

"I don't know when [current France boss Didier] Deschamps will decide, or when the federation will decide to get rid of him, but we all feel that Zidane will be the next national coach," he said.

"That is, if he wants to, because if he carries on being successful with Real Madrid then he won't take the job even if the seat is free.

"It's very hard to stay as Real Madrid coach for a long time, Mr Perez is very impatient. When it's possible, Zidane will join the national team, that's for sure."

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