Zidane to be Real Madrid's 'director of football'

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MADRID (Reuters) -- Zinedine Zidane will start working as Real Madrid's 'director of football' from next week, the former France great said on Thursday.

The 39-year-old, who was voted World Player of the Year on three occasions, has been working at the Spanish club as president Florentino Perez's special adviser.

"We are going to start working in the role as director of football to the first team," Zidane told reporters.

"(Coach Jose) Mourinho has been fundamental in this, but so has the president as well."

When asked what the role would involve, he replied: "We shall see. Everyone has been asking me the same question, but I will be there from next Monday, until the end of the season."

Zidane could be taking on some of the responsibilities that used to be handled by Jorge Valdano until the Argentine was sacked from as director general at the end of last season.

The relationship between Valdano and Mourinho, who was appointed coach in 2010, steadily deteriorated last term.

Perez's decision to ditch his right-hand man Valdano and back Mourinho in May was a victory for the Portuguese as he sought to gain more influence over sporting matters at the nine-time European champions.

Mourinho had petitioned for Zidane to work more closely with the first team last season and it was the former Real playmaker who helped convince the club to buy French defender Raphael Varane from Lens last week.