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Zidane snaps at reporter over 'stupid questions'

Written by 
Published in Soccer
Monday, 14 June 2021 06:38

Zinedine Zidane snapped at a reporter on Sunday over "the same stupid questions" as he was seen in public for the first time since resigning as Real Madrid coach.

Zidane quit the job on May 26 and revealed his reasons in an open letter on May 31, citing "messages leaked to the media" from the club and criticising journalists' focus on "controversy."

He was caught on camera as he went to see his son Luca play for Rayo Vallecano in their second division playoff final first leg against Girona in Madrid suburb Vallecas.

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"Are you going to keep asking the same stupid questions?" Zidane said, when asked by a Gol TV reporter -- a regular at Zidane's weekly Real Madrid news conferences -- if he had "left badly" with the publishing of the letter.

"Your work is a disgrace," Zidane continued. "I know you, you know me. It's always the same thing. Come here. Stop [filming]. Come and talk with me."

He then took the reporter aside to speak further in private, away from the cameras.

Zidane's departure as Real Madrid coach in May had been widely expected after a season in which he failed to land any silverware, finishing second in La Liga behind Atletico Madrid and being knocked out of the Champions League semifinals by Chelsea.

He had frequently refused to commit to staying on for next season, despite having a contract until 2022, and became increasingly, visibly exasperated at repeated questioning on the subject.

In February he demanded "respect" from journalists and said they should "tell me to my face that you want me to go.

"I've done hundreds of news conferences and unfortunately we've spoken very little about football," he wrote in his open letter published in AS last month. "Without meaning to criticise or teach you lessons, I would have liked it if the questions weren't always directed towards controversy, that we would have talked more often about the ball and above all about the players, who are, and always will be, the most important thing in this game."

Zidane has been based in Madrid since signing for the club as a player in 2001.

He was accompanied at the playoff match on Sunday by his wife Veronique and eldest son Enzo -- who recently signed for French Ligue 2 side Rodez -- to watch his second eldest, Luca, play in goal for Rayo.

Zidane's two younger sons, Theo and Elyaz, both still play for youth teams in the Real Madrid academy.

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