The French President Francois Hollande has been embroiled in a controversy after he claimed in an interview with 2 journalists that the footballers from the country were “badly educated” and “lacking values.”
The fact that he has made the claim after numerous French footballers are impressing with their respective clubs and the achievements of the French team in the recently concluded Euro 2016, where they reached the finals has made several fans and pundits question his intention behind making the statements.
“French footballers need gym classes for the brain”
Hollande, who is yet to make his intentions known for contesting in the upcoming Presidential elections was claimed to have said, “They go from being badly brought up kids to rich stars without preparation. They are not prepared psychologically to know what is right or wrong. The French Football Federation should not be organising training sessions but classes. Gym classes for the brain.”
The statements have been met with harsh words from former French superstars Emmanuel Petit and Frank Leboeuf, who have come out in defence of the footballing fraternity and the legendary midfielder and former France Captain Zinedine Zidane has joined the duo in expressing his disappointment towards the comments made by Mr. Hollande.
Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s Champions League tie against Legia Warsaw at home, Zidane claimed that he was deeply disturbed by the comments of the French President and believes the French President should not comment on the matters that do not directly concern him.
"It's not normal to talk about my players and it's annoying, it bothers me. I have no explanation.....I don't share his words,” said Zidane in direct response to Hollande directing criticism at Karim Benzema, a man who continues to be embroiled in controversies on and off the pitch time and again.
With footballers increasingly being deemed role models to youngsters across the globe, perhaps, the French manager would be wise to choose his words better in the future.
Looking ahead at the match, the Real Madrid manager maintained that while he was happy with his unit’s intensity in training and preparation, nothing could be taken for granted in a Champions League tie and the side would put their best foot forward despite the advantage being enjoyed by them in terms of quality of players and playing at home.
“I am satisfied with the level of their work and good things happen when we prepare correctly. After the game the other day a coach can only be happy, but now we have to change the mindset and not reflect on the 6-1. We play in the same competition so that means we are at the same level. The game will be 50-50 and complicated from the beginning. For me, there is no difference between us,” he said.
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