Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 November 2019

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane can't wait for international break to end

French World Cup-winner was speaking at the inaugural Dubai Artificial Intelligence in Sports (DAIS) Conference & Exhibition

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane during the Dubai Artificial Intelligence in Sports conference. AFP
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane during the Dubai Artificial Intelligence in Sports conference. AFP

It turns out Zinedine Zidane does not quite enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with international breaks.

The Real Madrid manager, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, was using the current hiatus in club football to speak in Dubai on Monday, at the inaugural Dubai Artificial Intelligence in Sports (DAIS) Conference & Exhibition.

Zidane, 47, shared a panel at Dubai World Trade Centre entitled “Sporting Legends – The Future Vision” alongside renowned mountaineer Veikka Gustafsson and wheelchair tennis champion Stephane Houdet.

“Football is my passion,” the former Madrid midfielder said. “I lead a team that is one of the best in the world, which requires me always to be ready. My life revolves around sports, so I don’t like to rest. I enjoy working all the time. When you have a match every three days, the last think we can think of is rest.”

On the rise of technology in football, Zidane said: “Artificial Intelligence plays a very important role now, but in my view human intelligence remains the most important.

“The most important thing that AI has to offer us as coaches now is to shorten the time to do some things in relation to training our players. When I played football, I did everything on the field myself, with my skills and my mind. But it has changed a little now.”

In his second stint as Madrid manager, Zidane has guided his side through a difficult start to the season and to the top of the 2019/20 La Liga table. Madrid resume their campaign on Saturday, away to Real Mallorca.

Updated: October 14, 2019 01:59 PM

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