Former Real Madrid assistant coach David Bettoni spoke to RMC about his time working with Zinedine Zidane. Bettoni spoke about Zidane’s character, methods, and how Zizou fuelled his own personal journey to becoming a head coach. Bettoni also spoke about how it was important for Zidane that the players enjoyed the training sessions.
“I asked Zidane: ‘What type of football would you like to offer as a coach?’” Bettoni told RMC. “We talked about the principles of the game, different organizations, how to get the ball. We talked mostly about the notion of pleasure. He told me: ‘When you go to help me prepare for training, I want the notion of pleasure to be at the center of your exercises. I want the player to want to come back when he gets home. These words from Zidane marked me.”
Bettoni also discussed why Zidane didn’t unveil much to the media in the press conferences.
“He’s an atypical coach,” Bettoni explained. “He doesn’t talk much about what he does in the media. He has always been like that.
“He has been trained by great coaches and thought a lot before becoming a coach. He has prepared himself. He needs us to synthesize our ideas. He has a very important tactical script that he reserves for his squad and his players. Zidane has ideas and passes a lot of time talking individually with his players.“
Finally, Bettoni spoke about Zidane’s parting message to him, which fuelled him to take on a head-coaching role himself.
“At the end of the season, when Zizou told me that he wanted to take a step back, he told me: ‘You have to go for it, you are prepared and the players know it.’ I decided to start my career as a head coach. I am ready to take a first division team, in Ligue 1 for example. I am open to all championships but I am French and I know the French championship very well.”