Zidane to join team Danone?

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Yes, that's right. Freshly retired French footballer Zinedine
Zidane may yet be selected to join the board of dairy, water and
biscuit giant Danone, says a report.

Franck Riboud, Danone's chairman, told the Financial Times​ newspaper that it was possible Zidane could some day join the board of a big food firm.His comments have sparked rumours that Zidane could join Danone as a non-executive director.

The football star, whose last act on the field was to head-butt Italy's Marco Materazzi in the chest in reaction to alleged insults, is already signed up as a Danone ambassador - sponsoring the group's international football tournament for young players.

And, like many in France, the organisers of the 'Danone Nations Cup' appear willing to forgive the footballing maestro for his World Cup Final outburst.

"The Danone Nations Cup is proud of the exceptional performance of our ambassador Zinedine Zidane at the World Cup,"​ they said. "We are looking forward to meeting him in Lyon at our final on the pitch of Gerland Stadium the 3 September 2006. Allez Zizou!"

Danone should be warned, however, about a new report from Britain's National Consumer Council (NCC) which says A-list celebrities are losing influence in the world.

Celebrities came second-last in the NCC's 'What Assures Consumers' survey, losing out to several information sources including government agencies and company websites.

"It appears that sole reliance on celebrity influencers like David Beckham is waning due to an increasingly sceptical public,"​ said Philip Monaghan, director at the Accountability group, which published the survey jointly with the NCC.

Monaghan said it was crucial for companies to "select the right mix of 'messengers' from those available"​.

A brief scour of the internet by DairyReporter.com​ has found few ex-footballers who appear qualified to advise Zidane on entering the food business sector.

Still, there were several high profile, ex-pros with restaurants and bars on their CVs.

These include ex-Chelsea star Roberto Di Matteo who, according to England's Premier League website, now owns two swanky restaurants in London, and ex-Sweden star Tomas Brolin, who is said to own one in Stockholm.

Former West Ham 'hard man' Julian Dicks, meanwhile, was last seen running a pub called the Shepherd & Dog on the Essex/Suffolk border. It was unclear whether the pub served food.

Further afield, ex-Japan international Takahiro Yamada has reportedly turned from footballer to confectioner.

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