French idol who celebrates his 50th birthday on Thursday, considered one of the greatest players in history, Zinédine Zidane has built his legend thanks to a fantastic playing career and sensational coaching debut.
1994: fanfare debut
Like Michel Platini, he began his career in the France team with a goal against the Czech Republic (it was Czechoslovakia for “Platoche”), and even with a double! On August 17, 1994, his two goals in two minutes (85th, 87th) allowed the Blues to equalize, at Parc Lescure, in front of their Bordeaux public. Aimé Jacquet had just launched it in the second half. A stepover followed by a shot in the skylight, then a header from a corner, “ZZ” begins to write its legend.
1996: the Gironde epic
With Christophe Dugarry, Bixente Lizarazu, future world champions, and the Dutchman Richard Witschge, he took the Girondins de Bordeaux to the final of the UEFA Cup, with a memorable goal against Betis Sevilla from 45 meters in the round of 16.
1998: Zidane president!
And 1, and 2, and 3-0. At the 98 World Cup in France, Zidane made an entire people explode with joy in the final against Brazil. “Zizou” shakes the net twice, from a corner, with a header, before Emmanuel Petit completes the coronation of the Blues (3-0). The legend was born. He won the Ballon d’Or the same year and “Zidane President” was displayed on the Arc de Triomphe.
2000: the coronation of the dancer
“ZZ” flies over the Euro-2000 in its class, to the final victory. He scored with a delicious direct free kick against Spain (2-1), but his masterpiece, perhaps the best match of his life with France-Brazil 2006, was his semi-final against Portugal, where his oriented controls, his dribbling and his hair-raising gestures give him the look of a dancer. And he also has the composure to convert the winning penalty after the hand of Abel Xavier (2-1 ap, golden goal).
2002: The Perfect Volley
Cross from Roberto Carlos, Zidane executes a sumptuous volley from the left – his “bad” foot! – in the skylight of Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt, his best goal, on the most beautiful of scenes, the Champions League final. Real Madrid wins (2-1) and Zidane validates in a gesture his record transfer of the summer of 2001 from Juventus Turin, for 75 million euros, at the time the most expensive in the history of football . He then formed the “Galactic” team of Real, alongside Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Raul and David Beckham.
2006: master strokes, headbutt
Returning to the France team after a one-year break between 2004 and 2005, Zinedine Zidane carries the Blues to the final of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. His fantastic performance in the quarter-finals against Brazil (1-0) remains perhaps his greatest match in the tricolor jersey.
In the final against Italy, he distinguished himself once again, beating Gianluigi Buffon on a panenka penalty. But while the French are pushed into overtime, the N.10 is expelled after a headbutt on defender Marco Materazzi. Zidane will definitely leave the France team after this World Cup lost on penalties.
2016: the transformation of “Coach Zizou”
After successively occupying the positions of adviser to President Florentino Perez, assistant to coach Carlo Ancelotti and then coach of the reserve team, Zidane was bombarded as head coach in January 2016, in the middle of a season. chaotic. A risky but profitable choice for the young technician, who won three consecutive Champions League (2016, 2017, 2018). Entering the closed circle of footballers who have won the C1 as a player and coach, “Zizou” will add to the White House record a title of Spanish champion in 2017. After leaving the club for the first time in 2018, he returns a season later for two years, a second stint marked by another La Liga title in 2020.
2022: what now?
Without a club since 2021, Zidane could enjoy his family life in Madrid, he who recently became a grandfather for the first time. But the Marseillais reminded him on Sunday at the microphone of TF1: he “wants to continue” to train, he said in Téléfoot.
While the press was speculating about his possible signing at PSG, a track now ruled out, Zinédine Zidane appears to be a natural candidate to one day become coach of the France team: Didier Deschamps’ contract ends for the time being after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.