Zinedine Zidane had the great fortune of playing with some seriously talented footballers in his playing career.
From David Beckham and Raul Gonzalez at Real Madrid to Didier Deschamps and Patrick Vieira with France, the 44-year-old’s list of former teammates reads like a Ballon d’Or shortlist.
As Los Blancos’ current boss, the Frenchman continues to be surrounded by some elite stars.
Article continues below
Cristiano Ronaldo. Gareth Bale. Luka Modric. Sergio Ramos.
Zidane, clearly, attracts talent.
Article continues below
It’s for that reason that his opinion on Celtic striker Moussa Dembele will be taken seriously.
Dembele has been a sensation since arriving from Fulham in the summer, already reaching double figures for the season and scoring a brace against Manchester City in the Champions League.
His late winner against Rangers in Sunday’s cup clash was his fourth goal in two Old Firm outings.
Zidane's a fan
Dembele is catching the eye of football’s biggest names, with Zidane the latest to join the fan club.
“Dembele is one of the most talked about young strikers in Europe at the moment but it has not surprised me at all – I always saw that,” Zidane told the Daily Record, per Goal.
“He isn’t just scoring goals, he is scoring big goals, important goals like the one against Rangers. That to me is always the sign of a great player.
“I have played with the greatest strikers, Ronaldo, [Thierry] Henry, Raul, and you knew on the biggest occasions they would win you games – and Dembele is already showing that.”
Stay in Scotland
Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly admirers of the France U21 international, but Zidane urged the youngster to continue his development in Scotland.
“I do understand now that the biggest clubs in Europe are being linked with him and that will be his destination eventually – but my advice now is ignore it all.
“He can progress well at Celtic, at a great club who are in Europe, and under a very good coach.
“I know his time will come but he needs to make good decisions – and his next at least one or two seasons should be with Celtic.”
Read between the lines and you’ll see a manager who is trying to appeal to Dembele. Madrid are banned from signing players until 2018, so of course Zidane doesn’t want the Celtic striker to consider leaving Parkhead just yet.
Is Moussa Dembele a future star? Let us know in the comments section below!