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Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane
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Zinedine Zidane Biography

Zindine Yazid Zidane (born June 23, 1972, in Marseille, France), nicknamed Zizou, is a French football player for Real Madrid and France, widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the world. He is a Muslim of Algerian Kabyle Berber ethnic origin. Through his status as a prominent Frenchman of Maghrebi descent, he promotes racial and religious tolerance, especially among the young and in his personal life he has married a woman of Christian origin. Zidane is often considered to be the best footballer in the world still playing, and perhaps one of the most talented players of all time. An elegant dribbler of the ball, Zidane's amazing vision and passing ability as a midfielder has earned him the nickname of 'genius' and 'magician' by the world's sport media (Luis Omar Tapia from ESPN calls him 'Harry Potter'[1] in reverence of his 'magical' abilities). Zidane's perfect balance make him one of the game's finest artists and the natural successor of France's Michel Platini. Though being born in Marseille, Zidane has never played for them, so it was rumored that he might want to finish his career there. Zidane has now declared that he will end his career after the 2006 World Cup in Germany, one year before his contract with Madrid runs out. His time in the French league was spent with Bordeaux, before he was snapped up by Juventus for 3 million. Zidane was a member of the French football team in 1998 World Cup, which France won, scoring two headed goals in the final against Brazil. Two years later, he led his country to a second major championship, winning Euro 2000. He has been elected three times as FIFA World Player of the Year (1998, 2000, 2003). In 2001 Zidane transferred from Italian team Juventus to Spanish club side Real Madrid on a four-year contract. The transfer fee was 47 million(approx. $66 million US), making him the most expensive player in football history. While Zidane initially took a while to settle in among his fellow 'Galacticos' at Madrid like Raul, Luis Figo and Roberto Carlos, he was undoubtedly the biggest name of the lot by reputation alone, and as the season progressed his form just got better, culminating in him helping Madrid and scoring the winning goal with a fantastic volley in a 2-1 win over the German team Bayer Leverkusen in the 2001-2002 Champions League Final in Glasgow's Hampden Park. Injuries prevented him from performing at his best in the 2002 World Cup. France's defence of their trophy was one of the most unsuccessful in World Cup history; the team was eliminated in the First Round without scoring a single goal. Without Zidane's creativity and vision France looked lost. Zidane rushed back from his injury in time to play in France's last game, but to anyone who had ever previously watched him perform, it was apparent that he was just not himself. On August 12, 2004, after the Euro 2004 display of France, the team getting knocked out in the quarter-final by later winners Greece, Zidane retired from international football. He announced on February 4, 2005 that he would retire from the game at the end of his current contract with Real Madrid, at the end of the 2006/07 season. After France experienced serious problems in attempting to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, Zidane announced on August 3, 2005 to come out of international retirement to make a comeback for Les Bleus. He stated on his official website: "I have gone back on my decision, one year after I said it was categorical." On the same day French teammate and Chelsea midfielder Claude Makll, who also quit the French team following Euro 2004, said he wanted to come out of international retirement as well. The same week, Lilian Thuram announced he would come back as well. The trio made their competitive return in the 3-0 World Cup qualifier win against the Faroe Islands on September 3rd, and France would go on to win their qualifying group. Zidane is one of the soccer icons of his generation and is known to be modest, quiet and self-admittedly shy. He is married to a French woman of Spanish descent, Vronique, a former model and together they have four sons, Enzo, Tho, Lucas and Elyas. As a Guardian feature article says, however, Zidane has also occasional flashes of aggression on the pitch. Such a display of aggression, Zidane showed when he was red carded for headbutting Jochen Kientz in a 2000/2001 Champions League match for Juventus against Hamburger SV. In 2004, Zidane was named to the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living footballers selected by Pel as a part of FIFA's centenary celebrations. In 2004, he was also voted the best European player for the past 50 years in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll. When Zidane came back from retirement, in August 2005, he was reinstated as captain of the French national team, where he wears squad number 10. At Real Madrid he wears squad number 5. In an interview he declared that when he was a teenager, Zidane admired Olympique de Marseille's Uruguayan playmaker Enzo Francescoli (whom he named his eldest son after). He once was a ballboy at a match with Francescoli and thus saw him up close. He was an Athens 2004 Torchbearer. In 2004, Zindine Zidane was appointed as "Chevalier" (Knight) of the Lgion d'honneur by French President Jacques Chirac. Zidane was sponsored by LEGO for a while and wore their logo. He was the official endorser of their Soccer/Football line (name varied to "correct" one depending on the country it was being marketed in), and was also immortalised in plastic in the form of a LEGO minifigure of himself, available in several of the sets.


Zinedine Zidane Photos

  • Zinedine Zidane

    2011 Soccer - Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur European Cup Press Conference - April 12, 2011

  • Zinedine Zidane

    2011 Soccer - Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur European Cup Press Conference - April 12, 2011

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