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Zinedine Zidane

10 May, 2006

Zinedine Zidane from France.Zinedine Zidane’s career began in the backstreets of Marseilles where, at the age of 14, this son of Algerian immigrants was spotted by a talent scout and offered a place at the academy of AS Cannes.

 

Name : Zinedine Zidane

Birth Date : 23 June 1972

Birth Place : Marseille, France

Height : 185cm 

Weight : 80kg

Position : Midfielder

Club : Real Madrid

Detail :  Zinedine Zidane’s career began in the backstreets of Marseilles where, at the age of 14, this son of Algerian immigrants was spotted by a talent scout and offered a place at the academy of AS Cannes.

Before he had even turned 17, Zidane broke through into the Cannes first team and during the 1990/91 season, he was already a part of the established eleven that failed to beat the drop at the end of the following campaign. After the team’s relegation, ‘Zizou’ signed for Bordeaux so he could continue to deploy his talents at the highest level.

Before long, Zidane was playing a starring role for Les Girondins and enjoyed his first taste of success during the 1995/96 season when Bordeaux reached the UEFA Cup Final. Although his side lost the match to Bayern Munich, it was his exploits at Bordeaux that confirmed Zizou’s status as a worthy successor to France’s legendary midfielder Michel Platini, whom he had incidentally encountered at first hand while serving as a ball boy at the 1984 UEFA European Championship.

Offered his first cap in 1994, the international debut of the kid from Marseilles could scarcely have been more emphatic: After coming on with les Bleus trailing the Czech Republic 2-0, the gifted Zizou turned the course of the match single-handedly by scoring twice.

But his full blossoming as an international took place during the 1995/96 season, which was followed by the European Championship in England. At the tournament, Aime Jacquet showed great faith in the Bordeaux player who, like the former national coach himself, was clearly endowed with the two key qualities that make a good player: excellent technique and unwavering determination.

Courtesy of some majestic performances both for club and for country, Zidane was soon being courted by a clutch of Europe’s top clubs. In the summer of 1996, he finally settled on Juventus of Italy, picking up his first silverware with his new club the same season when ‘the Old Lady’ defeated Argentine outfit River Plate to lift the Intercontinental Cup.

This opening taste of silverware was soon followed by a pair of Italian titles, in 1997 and 1998. And that summer, Zizou added the ultimate prize to his honours list when he inspired France to their 1998 FIFA World Cup™ triumph in front of their own fans in Paris.

Winning double

During the final against Brazil at the Stade de France, he bagged his first two goals of the FIFA World Cup to become the undisputed star of the tournament. Then, in the summer of 2000, France underlined their supremacy by winning the European Championship, prompting the world’s national team coaches to again, after 1998, name him FIFA World Player of the Year.

One year later, Zidane was signed by Real Madrid for a world record €73m and he has been well worth it to Real, regaling the Santiago Bernabeu with unique acts of skill, providing his team-mates with pinpoint passes and scoring stunning goals. His finest ‘work’ was a supersonic volley that brought Real victory in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen and that said all there was to say about a fantastic player at the peak of his powers.

Injured in France’s final warm-up game for Korea/Japan 2002, Zizou was only able to appear in the last of les Bleus’ three matches in their ill-fated campaign. Two years later, at Euro 2004 in Portugal, he saved his side from an opening-game defeat against England by netting twice in the final two minutes (2-1). But the subsequent elimination by Greece, combined with the legendary number 10’s mental and physical burn-out, led him to call time early on his international career.

At least, that was until the summer of 2005 when, after enjoying his first long holiday for many years, he was no longer able to resist the lure of the national team shirt. After backtracking on his decision, he returned to help guide France through the qualification minefield to Germany 2006. Now aged 34, Zidane will grace his last international competition this summer.


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