Reports of French soccer legend Zinedine Zidane declining the chance to coach the USMNT have been coming in thick and fast. The ’98 Ballon d’Or winner was approached by the US soccer federation with an offer to coach the USMNT. The 50-year-old reportedly rejected the offer.
It seems that Gregg Berhalter is not a good fit for the national soccer team of the United States anymore. The American coach guided the USMNT to the quarter-finals of the Qatar World Cup in 2022. Thereafter, Berhalter’s side was eliminated by the Netherlands in the round of 16.
In the aftermath of the World Cup, the USA is looking to rebuild the national soccer team. This has become increasingly important considering that the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be hosted by the USA. Zidane was the front-runner to succeed Gregg and overhaul the team to resemble a side capable of challenging in international competitions.
Zinedine Zidane has reportedly rejected an offer to coach the USMNT, per @lequipe.
He does not want to coach a national team unless it’s France. pic.twitter.com/Uiq31w6f0V
— USMNT Only (@usmntonly) January 7, 2023
Zinedine Zidane is considered one of the most successful soccer managers of this generation. He began his management career in soccer in 2014 with Real Madrid Castilla, Los Blancos’ B team. In 2016, he succeeded Rafael Benitez to become the coach of the senior team. He completely turned Madrid around, winning 105 games and losing just 16, posting a win rate of 70%.
In his first stint at Real Madrid, the Frenchman won the La Liga and the Spanish Super cup. He also won three Champions League titles, alongside two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups. He left the Madrid club in 2018 but returned in 2019 to stay till 2021. In the second stint, he won the La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup.
Which other national sides have offered the role of head coach to Zidane?
Considering his impressive credentials as a manager, Zidane has received plenty of offers from national teams. However, it is proving quite difficult for soccer teams to pursue the Frenchman. As per French outlet l’equipe, Zidane has now rejected offers from the national teams of three countries.
First, he was courted by the Brazilian FA to replace their coach, Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, better known as “Tite.” Zidane, however, was not the only high-profile coach to be headhunted by Brazil. The South Americans also reportedly approached Carlo Ancelotti.
🚨 Zinedine Zidane has rejected offers from 3 international sides:
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) January 7, 2023
Next, Portugal tried to lure the Frenchman to their camp. This was in the aftermath of Fernando Santos leaving the Portugal national team. Zidane declined the offer to succeed Santos and reunite with Cristiano Ronaldo in the Portugal dugout. The Portuguese FA also approached Jose Mourinho.
And now, the USMNT has become the third, and latest team to be rejected by Zidane. It had been recently reported that the former Real Madrid coach was eyeing the France head coach job. However, the current French coach, Didier Deschamps, has now decided to stay on as the French boss for a few more years. This will probably see Zidane pursuing his managerial prospects elsewhere.