World football icon Zinedine Zidane said he had no preference which national team his sought-after son Enzo played for, as a potential France v Spain tug-of-war over the 15-year-old gathered momentum.
Enzo, named after Zidane’s hero, the former Uruguay star Enzo Francescoli, was born in France but has spent the past nine years in the Spanish capital where he is already a star of Real Madrid’s youth team.
Earlier this month former World Cup winner Zinedine said he would decide which side his son plays for when the teen is called up.
And Spain, the reigning World Cup champions, appear ready to put in the first claim.
Gines Melendez, the coordinator of the under-16 side and coach of Spain’s under-17 side, told French television station TF1 he planned to call up Enzo, whose mother is Spanish, for the under-16 side.
“We will select him for Spain. We intend to talk to his father and to call him for the month of October,” he said.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said Wednesday he saw nothing wrong with Enzo playing for the country’s under-16 side.
“If he deserves it, why not?” he told reporters, adding he “had no idea” what Melendez planned to do.
Zidane, who retired after his last season with Real and the 2006 World Cup and still lives in Madrid with his family, reiterated that he still would not choose sides.
“As it stands, he hasn’t been called up by either country and it’s better like that,” Zidane, who ended his international career by planting a headbutt on Italian Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup final, told TV5 Monde.
Asked about his son’s skills, the France legend who played a pivotal role in helping France win the 1998 World Cup, admitted he may have passed on a trick or two.
“It’s true, when I see the tricks and dribbles he does I can see a bit of myself,” added Zidane.
Although the French Football Federation has yet to openly declare its interest in Marseille-born Zidane’s son, their Spanish counterparts are taking the bull by the horns.
For the Spanish press, it’s almost a done deal.
“If his call-up is confirmed, Enzo will play his first international match with the Reds,” according to sports daily Marca.
Enzo meanwhile will have room to maneouvre for around the next five years.
Under FIFA rules, a player of dual nationality can switch associations at any time provided he has not received his first full international cap.
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