Zinedine Zidane is a football player

Zinedine Zidane called Zizou

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Zinedine Zidane called Zizou

He was an exceptional player, the ex-captain of the French team, Zinedine Zidane. He is considered shy, closed and at the same time impulsive and unpredictable. Before the 2006 World Cup, many thought the gifted footballer had long since passed the high point of his career. But under his leadership, the team reached the finals and made it to the finals. But one moment - and Zizou killed himself and his team ...

The most expensive player in the world

In 2001, the Frenchman of Algerian descent moved from Juventus Turin to the Spanish noble club Real Madrid. There he played his last game so far on May 7, 2006. The Spaniards had paid the incredible sum of 73 million euros! This is the highest transfer fee that has ever been paid for a player so far.

Playmaker and ball magician

The midfielder, who wore the number 10 shirt like many great playmakers, was not just a director who could set the pace of a game and play the "deadly" pass on the strikers. So a pass that surprises the defense and puts the striker in an excellent shooting position. Zidane was also dangerous on goal himself. He shot corners, many free kicks and sharp shots from the backcourt, scored goals with his head or lightly played around his opponents. He dribbled brilliantly and had a unique feel for the ball in both feet, which is otherwise only known from some South American players.

How Zinedine was discovered


Yazid Zidane was born on June 21, 1972 in a shabby suburb of Marseille. As a child, Zinedine lived here in La Castellane with his Muslim parents, who came from Algeria, and four siblings. The circumstances were very simple, but his father, a devout Muslim, Zidane emphasized again and again, had given him the most important things on the way: honesty, humility, decency and the will to work hard.

However, in the suburb of "La Catellane", Zinedine also experienced the dark side of the migrant child and they have shaped him forever:

"I abhor injustice and brutality. I take a bunch of blows without saying anything, but at some point the moment comes when I can no longer hold back: I rebel, explode, it's stronger than me. I come from one hard neighborhood in Marseille. I never wanted to fight there, but if you are provoked, you can't let everything go to you! "
(from "Zin├ędine Zidane: Dances with the Ball", p. 107)

In this way, Zidane not only develops an ingenious way of playing, but also an impulsive lack of self-control that will accompany him throughout his career.
Together with the boys from his neighborhood, he kicked every free minute on the street and his talent was already unmistakable here, in the dusty places. It also did not go unnoticed by talent scouts who are on the road on behalf of clubs to discover talented footballers. They became aware of the footballing diamond in the rough, Zidane.

How Zinedine became Zizou

When Zidane was 14, he went to the football boarding school in Cannes. During a training session, a youth coach came up with a comparison: Zidane moves like a sleek "white cat" in French for short "Zizou" (pronounced "ssiiissuu"). This is how Zidane got his nickname.

The rather shy 14-year-old found his way around the boarding school with difficulty. Despite homesickness and longing for his family, he bit his way through and three years later he was playing in the French 1st division at AS Cannes. In 1992 he went to FC Girondins Bordeaux, with whom he reached the UEFA Cup final. He was helped by his girlfriend Veronique, whom he later married and with whom he now has four sons.



Top international football

In 1996 Zidane moved to the top Italian club Juventus Turin, with whom he won the World Cup in the same year, was Italian champion in 1997 and 98 and was twice in the Champions League final, but Turin lost each time.

2001 saw the spectacular move to Real Madrid. Zidane was still under contract until 2007, but after the 2006 World Cup it was over for Zidane. With the Madrilenians, Zizou won the Spanish championship, the Champions League (2002) and the Supercup. In crucial games in particular, Zidane made extraordinary and important goals. For example, in the Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002, when he volleyed the ball from the edge of the penalty area to make it 2-1 in the net.

Furious start in the national team

On August 17, 1994, at the age of 22, Zidane made his first game for the national team. Against the Czech Republic he was substituted on in the 62nd minute when the score was 2-0. The newcomer scored two wonderful goals to make it 2-2 and the French had a new idol.

European and world champions

In 1998, Zidane won the world title with the French national team in their own country. "Les bleus", as the French are known for their blue jerseys, beat Brazil 3-0. Zidane scored two headed goals. The team played its way into the hearts of football fans as a technically and tactically excellent team. Zidane was the undisputed star of this World Cup. And he was voted the world's best footballer in 1998. Just like 2000 and 2003!

In 2000 the French won the European Championship. In the final they defeated the Italians 2-1.

French multicultural troupe


For many French, this national team was not only something special because of their victories. For the first time, such a successful team also reflected real French society, as many of the players, like Zidane, come from immigrants, mainly from African countries. And for the immigrants, the success was proof that you can also achieve something in France, even if you come from the disreputable, often written-off suburbs of the big cities and actually hardly have a successful future as a teenager.

Bad time

After the high-flying sport, leaner times awaited Zidane. He was injured again and again and things weren't going so smoothly in terms of sport either. At the 2002 World Cup he was hardly able to play due to an injury, and the French had to pack their bags and go home after the group matches. Even at the 2004 European Championship in Greece, the French were eliminated rather lackluster. Zidane announced his retirement from the national team. Things were also unsatisfactory at Real Madrid. No Spanish championship has been won since the 2002/03 season. It was said that he was too old.



Prove it to yourself and the world again ...

When France's qualification for the 2006 World Cup was on the brink, Zidane came back to the national team, the team reached the finals. But the fans hardly trusted her more than in 2002, after all, many players, like Zidane, were already over 30 altogether too old, too lacking in ideas and too slow, so the allegations were often.

The 2006 World Cup: group matches

This seemed to be confirmed in the group matches of the 2006 World Cup. Zidane got the second yellow card in the game against South Korea and could not play the last group game. The advancement of the French was in danger. Zidane had already announced before the World Cup that he would quit after the World Cup. So this lackluster 0: 1 in the preliminary round would have meant the end of one of the best playing careers. But thanks to a victory against football dwarf Togo, they made it to the round of 16.

The way to the final - with a brilliant Zizou


The goal of Zidane to make it 3-1 in the round of 16 against Spain, which ensured the French advance to the quarter-finals, must have been all the more relieving. Here they met the reigning world champion Brazil. Zidane has fond memories of Brazil: 2 goals in the 1998 final. Even though he didn't succeed in that 2002 masterpiece, he played the Brazilians against the wall. And he beat them with their own weapons: with enthusiasm, with technical highlights, with breathtaking dribbles and an excellent cross to the all-important 1-0 through Henry.

Now the French were in the semi-finals against Portugal. And in this game, too, Zizou showed old class and shot the team with his decisive 1-0 into the final.

The irascible end of a great career

Italy - France that was the name of the final. Zidane had achieved the unbelievable and led his team to the final. In the final, he shot Frankeich in the 7th minute with a penalty with a 1-0 lead. Marco Materazzi scored the 1-1 in the 19th minute. The draw lasted until the end of regular time. In extra time, Zidane let himself be enticed into an unexpected headbutt against Marco Materazzi and received the red card. It was the 15th and probably the last red card of his career. As a reason for his assault, he stated that the Italian player had insulted him and his family again and again.

Italy won 6-4 on penalties. FIFA fined and banned him and Materazzi. Despite this derailment, which made headlines for days, Zidane was voted the best player of the tournament again because the choice had been made before the final.

Zidane is currently looking after his family, his wife Veronique and their four sons Enzo, Luca, Theo and Elyaz. He is also committed to charity.
-from 19.05.2007 text / photos: adidas, Bombus Verlag, movie poster.

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