Zinedine Zidane backed for Manchester United job by former teammate | Football

Zinedine Zidane has been out of management since leaving Real Madrid in 2021 (Picture: Getty Images)

Julio Baptista has backed his former Real Madrid teammate Zinedine Zidane as a future Manchester United manager, describing the legendary figure as an ‘incredible coach’.

Zidane has long been linked with the job at Old Trafford, but has never seemed close to actually taking it, seemingly not fussed about a move to England.

The Frenchman has had two spells in charge of Real Madrid, winning two La Liga titles and the Champions League an incredible three times.

He has been out of management since that second stint ended in 2021 and continues to be touted for the Manchester United job, along with roles such as Paris Saint-Germain and the France national team.

Baptista, the former Arsenal striker who played with Zidane at Real Madrid, says the Frenchman was the best teammate he ever had, is an incredible coach and could well be on the touchline at Old Trafford one day.

‘Zidane was the best player I have ever played with,’ Baptista exclusively told Ladbrokes Fanzone. ‘Playing with him and sharing a dressing room with him was very special. He is one the best in the world.

‘In training sessions, he would do crazy things, but he is a very good person. I see him often and we like to reminisce about our time together at Real Madrid. My best memory with him was actually his last game at Real Madrid against Villareal. We won 3-3 and I scored two goals. I was so glad to have played well and score to give him good memories of his last game.

Real Madrid's Julio Baptista (L) celebra

Julio Baptista (L) and Zinedine Zidane played together at Real Madrid from 2005-06 (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I think he will be a Premier League manager someday. He is an incredible coach, with amazing experience having won the Champions League, so I can see that happening. I can see him going to Manchester United.’

Baptista’s brief stint in the Premier League came on loan from Real Madrid with the Gunners in the 2006-07 season, when he scored 10 goals in all competitions.

One player made a big impression on him during his time in the Premier League, with John Terry going down as his toughest opponent.

‘John Terry was the toughest player I have encountered,’ said the Brazilian. ‘He was so strong, so fast, and he anticipated what the players would do next. He was an amazing defender.’


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