Зинедин Зидан он, как говорится, и в Африке Зинедин Зидан. Почти наверняка любой
болельщик помнит два великолепных мяча, забитых Зизу после розыгрыша угловых в
финале чемпионата мира 1998 года в ворота сборной Бразилии. Эти голы фактически
уже в первом тайме предопределили итоговый результат матча, который всем
известен. В общем, Зидан - звезда с самой большой буквы и его значение для
Франции оценить очень трудно.
Budweiser Man of the Match
01 Jul Brazil 0:1 (0:0) France More...
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
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.
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
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.