Zidane gets Real director of football role

Former Real Madrid player Zinedine Zidane will succeed Jorge Valdano as director of football at the La Liga giants.Frenchman Zidane, a three-time world player of the year, retired in 2006 after spending the last five seasons of his career in the Spanish capital.

The 39-year-old won the La Liga title and the Champions League during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu and has been serving as a special advisor to Real president Florentino Perez since June 2009.

Zidane is set to take over at least some of the duties of Valdano, another former player who worked as director of football in two spells between 2000-2005 and 2009-2011.

The 55-year-old Argentine, formally a close ally of Perez, was removed by the president in May this year.

The move was seen by many as a victory for head coach Jose Mourinho after a power struggle between the two men following the arrival of the Portuguese from Inter Milan in May 2010.

“We are going to start working in the role as director of football to the first team,” Zidane said.

“Mourinho has been fundamental in this, but so has the president as well.”

When asked what the roles entails, Zidane said: “We shall see.”

“Everyone has been asking me the same question, but I will be there from next Monday, until the end of the season.”

“Real Madrid is the most important thing that happened to me, both as a footballer and as a person. And I will continue to work with the club because it is the best.”

Real finished second in La Liga last season, losing out in the title race to Barcelona, who also beat them in the semi-finals of the Champions League.