Madrid Hotels Articles

May 13, 2010

Player profiles: Zindine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane (pronounced /zine’din zidane/) is one of the most famous and successful footballers in the world. He has won prestigious trophies at both club and national levels (the most notable are the UEFA Champions Leauge 2001-2002, FIFA World Cup 1998, UEFA Euro 2000) as well as awards for individuals (among which are Chevalier of Legion d’Honneur – look up in Wikipedia if you don’t know what it is; FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998, 2000 and 2003, and Ballon d’Or/European Footballer of the Year in 1998). He also appears in many charismatic top player lists of all kinds chosen by fans, soccer associations, critics, and sport magazines. Zidane is renown for his excellent techniques, a good strategic head and charismatic field presense that inspired his teammates. However, he is also known for his hot temper which has led him into being sent off in important matches several times.

Zidane is a French with Algerian origin. He was born in 1972 in Marseille, France. He started his professional soccer career at the small club AS Cannes in 1998 but not until he transferred to FC Girondins de Bordeux in the season 1992-1993 did he gain attention. With Bordeux, Zidane achieved the runner-up position in UEFA Cup of the season 1995-1996. His career took off with the 1996 transfer to Juventus F.C. where he won two Scudettos (Italian National Championship) and got into UEFA Champions League final two times. At Juventus, he was constantly the first choice of the then coach Lippi for the playmaker position. In 2001, Real Madrid F.C. paid the then highest transfer fee in history (76 million euros) to have Zidane and he did live up to the expectation. The Frenchman was the important factor in Real Madrid’s acquirement of the Champions League championship in 2002 as well as the La Liga championship the next season. Zidane retired from club soccer after the season 2005-2006.

Zinedine Zidane also has remarkable achievements with the French national team. He debuted in 1994 in a friendly match against Czechs Republic. His favourite position was also playmaking. With France, he made it to the semifinal of Euro 1996. In 1998 on home turf, Zidane helped France win the historical FIFA World Cup championship (it was the first time France won this tournament). This success raised Zidane to one of the greatest contemporary footballers and brought his many grand awards, including Chevalier (Knight) of France’s most prestigious order Legion d’Honneur. Two years later, he and his teammates defeated Italy in the UEFA Euro final, making France the second European national team after West Germany to win both World Cup and Euro. Unfortunately, Zidane’s international career ended in controversy when he was sent off in the World Cup 2006’s final (which was also his last international match) after the infamous confrontation with Italy’s Materazzi. Despite that, Zidane’s achievements are irrefutable. Besides the trophies, he is the fourth player to earn the 100th cap with France after Desailly, Deschamps and Thuram.

His success aside, Zidane is arguably one of the most beloved soccer stars. He has no scandal in private life and is known to be a model husband and father. He is also active in charity activities and is the good-will ambassador of the United Nations since 2001.


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