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Zinedine Zidane Biography




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FULL NAME:Zinedine Yazid Zidane
DATE and PLACE OF BIRTH:23 June 1972. Marseille, France.
Nationality:French
Teams:Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus, Real Madrid, French national team
Playing Position:Attacking midfielder

KICKOFF : 
Zinedine Zidane is widely believed to be one of the greatest number 10s of the past few decades. The son of Algerian emigrants,
Zidane was the superstar of French football’s crowning glory, the 1998 World Cup victory at home. He scored two goals in the final against Brazil to seal his place among the all-time greats of France. At club level, Zidane was part of Florentino Perez’s galacticos era which won the 2001-02 UEFA Champions League.

HIS-STORY
Zidane started his professional career in Cannes where he was invited to play, having been scouted for at one of France Football’s institutes. As a youth player at the club, the director of Cannes invited Zidane to come and stay with him and his family. Zidane made his debut in 1989 with the senior side. In his first full season with the club, Cannes finished 4th, their best ever finish. Zidane was sold to Bordeaux in the 1992-93 season. With him in the side Bordeaux finished runners-up in the 1995-96 UEFA Cup. He was voted Ligue 1’s best player in 1996. His exemplary performances for Bordeaux earned him a move to European champions, Juventus. He had an immediate impact in Serie A, helping the club from Turin to the league title in his first season as well as the season after that. In both those seasons, Juventus reached the finals of the European Cup but lost to Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, respectively. He was voted the world’s third best player in 1997.

In 2001, Zidane joined Spanish giants, Real Madrid for a world record fee of 75 million euros. In the year of his joining, Real won the Champions League for a record ninth time. Zidane played a pivotal role in the final scoring the winner in the final against Bayer Leverkusen. Real went on to win the La Liga the following season. He ended his club career in 2006 finishing with 37 goals in 155 games.

Zidane played in his first World Cup in 1998. He became the first French player to be sent off in a finals tournament after his stamp on Saudi Arabia’s Faud Anwar. He returned to the side in the quarter finals against Italy. His crowning glory came in the final against Brazil when he scored two header goals to seal a 3-0 victory over the defending champions.  Two years later, Zidane led the nation to victory in the European Championships, scoring the golden goal against Italy in the final. He was named Player of the Tournament that year.

After a disappointing 2002 World Cup, Zidane was coaxed out of retirement for the 2006 finals. After a slow start, France picked up steam to reach the final where they played Italy. Zidane opened the scoring in the final scoring a dinked penalty. The final, however, will always be remembered for Zidane’s sending off in extra time when he inexplicably head-butted Italian defender, Marco Materazzi. Zidane was sent off and France went on to lose the final on penalties.

SCORE CARD
Zidane’s honors roll is a long one. He has won league titles in Spain and Italy. He has also won the European Cup with Real Madrid. He was voted Europe’s best player in 1998 for which he received the Ballon D’Or. He finished second and third in the same competition in 2000 and 1997, respectively. Zidane was also part of the All-Star teams of the 1998 and 2006 World Cups. He even won the Golden Ball in his final World Cup despite the infamous sending off.

TRIVIA
While at Bordeaux, Zidane was coveted by Blackburn’s then manager, Kenny Daglish. When Daglish expressed interest in signing him, the club president Jack Walker famously remarked, “Who needs Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?” Zidane was offered to Newcastle United at the beginning of the 1996 season but they turned him down because they felt that he wasn’t good enough to compete at the highest level.

OFFSIDE
Zidane has come under immense public scrutiny for his ongoing role as Qatar’s football ambassador. Qatar has supposedly paid him 14 million euros for his role in, first, bringing the World Cup to Qatar and subsequently spreading awareness among football’s elite about the emergence of the nation as a footballing destination. However, in light of recent atrocities against migrant workers building the World Cup stadiums and the detention of French footballer, Zahar Belounis in Qatar, the public has looked to Zidane to mediate the situation. His silence, despite these gross violations of human rights, has greatly angered the football fraternity.

TIE BREAKER
                                                                                                     Zinedine Zidane has been an active participant in various humanitarian endeavors undertaken by FIFA. In July 2011, Zidane was appointed sporting director of Real Madrid. When Carlo Ancelotti took over as coach of Real, Zidane was appointed as assistant to him. Nowadays, he can be seen prowling the touchline in his suits and barking instructions to a new set of galacticos.

Last Updated : February 05, 2014


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