French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet claims he turned down an approach from Zinedine Zidane to succeed Laurent Blanc as national coach in 2012.
Didier Deschamps was appointed Les Bleus' boss after Blanc opted not to stay on following his side's Euro 2012 quarter-final exit at the hands of eventual winners Spain.
But Zidane, two-goal hero from France's 1998 World Cup final victory over Brazil but whose international playing career ended with his infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi in the 2006 final loss to Italy, was also interested in the role, according to Le Graet.
In an excerpt from his book, 'World champions 1998, secrets and power', published in France Football, he said: "Zinedine Zidane would have liked to lead Les Bleus.
"It's clear he wanted (the job). I met him at his request. It was not the moment. He first needed to lead a team."