“We come back to what I like”: why Zidane is launching his futsal academy


The young audience listens religiously to list the instructions for the exercise. The coach may not teach on the field, the dimensions of which are most familiar to him, the group of children drinks his words. A few meters from them, the coach of this Wednesday morning is called Zinédine Zidane. Ten days after leading his Real Madrid against Manchester City in the Champions League, the former playmaker of the Blues left Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and Raphaël Varane for a session with young footballers at the family futsal complex in Aix-en -Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), the Z5.

At the end of August, “Zizou” took advantage of his vacation to come and polish the launch of one of his latest projects: the « Zidane Five Club ». A futsal academy, aimed at young people aged 5 to 14, launched in collaboration with Le Five, one of the heavyweights of futsal in France, and Foot Lab. Launched on October 3, it will be offered in nine Five centers in France (Bezons, La Courneuve, Paris 18, Champigny, two centers in Orléans, Metz, Strasbourg, Bordeaux), and in the two Z5s, in Aix and in Turin.

“We are not there to train future professionals,” explains Zinédine Zidane. We want kids to lose certain stereotypes by understanding that they can be just as much a defender as an attacker. We come back to what I like: fun and play. It’s a great project, I bring my expertise to it. “

“He didn’t just want to put his name on the program”

Assisted by his assistant at Real David Bettoni, the former number 10 validated the exercises designed by Patrick La Spina, the designer of the program. “It found its way into the content because there is a lot of technical talk,” explains the creator of Foot Lab. We had very rich discussions on the training of players. When we talk about football with him, we don’t see the time passing. “

“He didn’t want to just put his name on the program, he wanted to really get involved. He was very responsive but also very demanding, says the co-founder of the Five, Tony Jalinier. We also met on the social aspect with him. More than half of our centers are located in priority areas of the City, we must not forget. An academy is expensive, but we will find bridges. “

If the 34 sessions will cost 399 euros per year, the “Zidane Five Club” also has a social dimension, promise its founders. Reduced prices or free sessions will be offered to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. By 2024, the program aims to welcome 6,000 children in the various centers where it will be deployed.

“We are there to instill in them values, but also to transmit the pleasure that five-a-side football can offer,” continues Zidane. At 11, it’s not fun when you get old (laughs). There, we can cheat by playing six or seven and mix the generations. That’s what I love about the discipline. “

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