Paris: 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
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 yesterday he saw
nothing wrong with Enzo playing for the country`s under-16
"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
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.