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That’s my boy – Real boss Zidane faces son Enzo

23 September 2017   |   8:57 am
Midfielder Enzo, 22, left Real's reserve team in the close season in search of first-team football at Alaves, where he has made two La Liga appearances so far.

(FILES) This file photo taken on July 19, 2017 shows Alaves’ French midfielder Enzo Zidane kicking the ball during a friendly football match between Toulouse and Alaves in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, southwestern France, on July 19, 2017. Alaves’ French midfielder Enzo Zidane will face Real Madrid, coached by his father Zinedine Zidane next September 23, 2017.<br />Nicolas Mollo / AFP

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will go up against his son Enzo Fernandez for the first time when he takes his struggling Spanish champions to Alaves on Saturday.

Midfielder Enzo, 22, left Real’s reserve team in the close season in search of first-team football at Alaves, where he has made two La Liga appearances so far.

But with his side already seven points behind early league leaders Barcelona and in desperate need of points, Zinedine will put his job over family ties.

“I hope he (Enzo) doesn’t score, we’ve got to look after our interests,” said the 1998 World Cup winner.

“I don’t know if it’ll be strange to be up against him but I’m happy for him because he’s doing a good job. “I haven’t thought about it much. I’ll have my own feelings but the match is Alaves against Real Madrid, that’s the most important thing for me.”

For all Real’s early seasons struggles, Enzo has had it worse as he has played just 71 minutes despite Alaves failing to register a point or even score a goal so far this season.

Veteran Italian coach Gianni De Biasi takes charge for the first time against the European champions following the sacking of Luis Zubeldia.

And Enzo is hoping Alaves’ can kickstart their season, even if it comes at the expense of the club coached by his father and who he played for from the age of eight until just a few months ago.

“It is a special game, it is against my team since I was young,” Enzo told Alaves’ website. “It will be strange, but also beautiful. I am desperate to play and let’s see if we can take a point off them.”

Zidane’s 19-year-old son Luca is also in the Real squad as third-choice goalkeeper, and like Enzo, he has played for the French Under-19 team, while his younger brothers Theo (15) and Elyaz (11) also play in Real youth sides.

Former Ballon d’Or winner Zidane said that he has not had a hands-on approach with Enzo’s career since he left the Santiago Bernabeu, after giving him his Real debut in a Copa Del Rey match last year, in which he scored.

“Enzo is very competitive, as am I. I’m watching his development as a player but I speak to him as a dad,” he added.

“I’m not his coach, I’m his dad and I don’t have to give him anything in terms of football. When we speak, it’s nothing more than a father-son relationship.”

Enzo admitted his first role model was his dad, but that it is the skills of Madrid midfielder Luka Modric he now tries to emulate.

“As a reference I have always had my dad because he is my dad and he was a great player,” he added.

“But of the current players my reference is Modric. He makes football look beautiful, I had the luck to share a dressing room with him last year to see him up close and learn from him.”