MADRID: Zinedine Zidane has taken the next step in his learning curve towards stepping back into elite football as a coach.

The former France midfielder, 42, now been has been appointed as coach of the European champions’ third division nursery side Castilla after working alongside Carlo Ancelotti and ‘minding’ the Madrid youth section.

Zidane was playmaking inspiration when France won the World Cup in 1998 and European Championship in 2000. He scored 31 goals in 108 internationals – the last of which saw him sent off infamously for a headbutt i France’s 2006 World Cup Final defeat.

At club level Zidane won two Italian league titles with Juventus and the Spanish league and Champions League with Real Madrid. He scored what proved the winning goal in the 2002 Champions League Final with a magnificent volley.

Zidane had been linked with the manager’s job at former club Bordeaux but elected to stay at Madrid. He will be joined at Castilla by youth coach Santiago Sanchez.