Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane says it would be “perfectly reasonable” for him not to win the FIFA Best Men’s Coach award for 2016.
The former France international has won the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup during a remarkably successful first year in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Zidane is in the running for the FIFA prize along with Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri and Portugal coach Fernando Santos, and he believes either of those two more experienced men would be worthy winners.
Asked if he would be surprised not to win, he told a news conference: “No, of course not. I think it would be perfectly reasonable for someone else to win it.
“I’ve only just arrived, this is all new. I have to keep working and show an awful lot more and that would be perfectly reasonable to me.”
Zidane insists he still has a huge amount to improve upon as he looks to follow his legendary playing career with a long and successful time on the touchline.
“Now I feel a little less nervous [than one year ago],” he said. “I feel good, I’m happy with the work. There’s a long way to go but we’re pleased with the work we’ve done.
“I have to improve everything, that’s how it’ll always be. As a player I thought the same way. At 33 and 34, I always played to improve and as a coach, even more so.
“That’s your [the media’s] job to comment on what I need to improve but I’m convinced I have a passion for football. I’ve always been that way, that’s a quality that a coach has to have and I’m pleased with what I do every day.
“I don’t think there’s any great difference, I still think the same things. I want to keep improving, this is a long-term and difficult job. We’ve achieved great things but we have to compete for everything.”
Zidane’s side take on Sevilla in the first leg of the Copa del Rey last 16 on Wednesday.