Home Sports Zinedine Zidane at PSG? When football and politics are intimately linked

Zinedine Zidane at PSG? When football and politics are intimately linked

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Will Zinedine Zidane be the next Paris Saint-Germain manager? Nothing is sure yet. But this possibility and the fantasies it arouses says a lot about our relationship to football. Our sports columnist Virginie Phulpin returns to the soap opera that has been stirring the world of sport for a few days.

EDITORIAL

“In political life, the legislative elections follow the presidential election. In the life of football, the soap opera Zidane has taken the place of the soap opera Mbappé. I do not speak of politics at random. It is intimately linked. President Emmanuel Macron had already expressed his wish to see Kylian stay in Paris, going so far as to call the striker. He did it again with Zizou. No phone call, but the public expression of his desire to see him on the PSG bench.

For an OM fan, we will really have heard everything. But it’s not about the club, rather about the greatness of France. This is a real fantasy embodied by Zinédine Zidane, the greatness of France. It takes at least that to move on after a Champions League final at the Stade de France where greatness was made, let’s say, very discreet. If we want to rhyme France and the Champions League, it is sure that today it is better to count on PSG with Zidane than on our chances of hosting a new final.

These positions of the President of the Republic are quite revealing of the relationship of our politicians with football. We don’t talk much about the real problems and challenges of this sport, but when it shines, when the names are as high-sounding as those of Mbappé or Zidane, then it becomes a national cause. And why not, you say? To use an expression of Kylian Mbappé, there is no need to leave Saint-Cyr to say that such an alliance would be economically beneficial to Ligue 1, and therefore to France. And then socially, we lend this duo all the virtues, as if we were returning to France “black white beur” of 1998. The year of birth of Mbappé, the year of the coronation of Zidane.

For the moment, nothing is done, Zidane is not yet a PSG coach

Yes, but there is no greater fantasy machine than the transfer window. These off-seasons where we are deprived of football, without offending the French team and the League of Nations, are conducive to all projections towards the following season. It’s interesting and worrying at the same time to see that we can vibrate as much for stories of contracts as for a match. And when it comes to Zinédine Zidane, we open Pandora’s box.

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Zizou is the figure of Marseille. He was born there, he grew up there. In the city, not in the club. He never played at OM, he was not even trained there, there is no common history. And yet the very idea that it could happen to PSG, to the intimate enemy, is experienced as a betrayal in Marseille. But a betrayal of what, ultimately? Perhaps fantasy, again, that the only place for Zidane in France is at the helm of the national team, because he would be above club struggles. To see the return of the one who lit up our blue evenings. You will have noticed that it is since we announced his possible arrival at PSG that the Blues coach file has reopened. The shrewdest of politicians, in all of this, is perhaps Zizou, in the end.”

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