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New Real Madrid role for legend Zidane; Milan lose Inzaghi and Pato

Zinedine Zidane has stayed involved in football since retiring, and is one of Qatar's ambassador's for the nation's 2022 World Cup bid.
Zinedine Zidane has stayed involved in football since retiring, and is one of Qatar's ambassador's for the nation's 2022 World Cup bid.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Zinedine Zidane given post working alongside Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho
  • Former France star has been an advisor to Real president since mid-2009
  • Mourinho will miss two La Liga matches after being banned for insulting a referee
  • AC Milan hit by double striker blow ahead of Sunday's derby with arch-rivals Inter

French footballing legend Zinedine Zidane has been appointed as "presidential advisor" to Real Madrid's first team, working alongside head coach Jose Mourinho.

The 38-year-old has been working as a personal advisor to the Spanish club's president Florentino Perez since mid-2009, having retired from playing after the 2006 World Cup final.

Mourinho, who has been given a two-match domestic ban for insulting a referee in a Copa del Rey match on Tuesday night, had requested that Zidane be involved in his backroom staff.

"The reasoning for his appointment is to assist in optimizing first-team working conditions," Real's website reported on Friday.

Zidane will be readily available to the president and coach for all matters concerning Real Madrid's first team
--Real's website
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"Zidane will be readily available to the president and coach for all matters concerning Real Madrid's first team, with whom he will keep in frequent contact.

"The former player will participate in Champions League events and functions. He will also travel with the team on a regular basis for said competition and will participate in the pre-match gatherings, training sessions and meetings with the head coach."

Sent-off Mourinho questions ref's record

Mourinho, who is unbeaten at Real since taking over from Manuel Pellegrini in the off-season, will not be present on the touchline for Sunday's trip to Sporting Gijon and the following weekend's match against Athletic Bilbao.

However, he will be free to return for the first "Clasico" of this season against arch-rivals Barcelona on Monday November 29.

The Portuguese coach was sent to the stands during the 5-1 win over Real Murcia after protesting against a yellow card and then insulting the referee.

"Mourinho was booked 'for formulating observations about the referee' and he has been suspended for the Sporting and Athletic matches 'for addressing the referee with disrespectful vocabulary,' " Real's website reported.

Meanwhile, Italian club AC Milan may face a striker shortage ahead of this weekend's derby with city rivals Inter with both veteran Filippo Inzaghi and Alexandre Pato sidelined.

The 37-year-old Inzaghi is likely to miss the rest of this season after suffering a serious knee injury in Wednesday's 3-1 Serie A victory over Palermo.

Brazil international Pato, who came off with a thigh problem in the same match, will be ruled out for six weeks -- meaning he will not likely return until early January after the mid-winter break.

Inzaghi will now have an operation on his damaged knee, and looks set to be out for the next six months -- prompting concerns that his long career may be at an end.

"Inzaghi underwent a scan which revealed lesions on the ligaments of his left knee. After consultation with Doctor Piero Volpi, it has been decided that the player will undergo surgery," said an official release from the club.

It is a cruel blow for the one-time Juventus striker, who scored a match-saving brace during Milan's 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in the European Champions League last week.

He has already received a message of support from former Italy teammate and Roma talisman Francesco Totti, with the AC website relaying his kind words.

"Francesco Totti sent Filippo Inzaghi a greeting of support after hearing of the striker's knee injury and told him he was a great goalscorer and example to all young players," read the statement.

Inzaghi has enjoyed a glittering career and has twice won the European Champions League with the Rossoneri, in 2003 and 2007.

During the 2007 final he scored both goals in Milan's 2-1 win over Liverpool at Athens' Olympic Stadium.