Zinedine Zidane

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Zinédine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane 2008.jpg
Zidane in 2008
Personal information
Full nameZinedine Yazid Zidane[1][2]
Date of birth(1972-06-23) 23 June 1972 (age 42)[1]
Place of birthMarseille, France
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing positionAttacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Real Madrid Castilla (manager)
Youth career
1982–1983US Saint-Henri
1983–1986SO Septèmes-les-Vallons
Senior career*
2001–2006Real Madrid155(37)
National team
1988–1989France U174(1)
1989–1990France U186(0)
1990–1994France U2120(3)
Teams managed
2013–2014Real Madrid (assistant)
2014–Real Madrid Castilla
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
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"Zidane" redirects here. For other people named Zidane, see Zidane (name).
Zinédine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane 2008.jpg
Zidane in 2008
Personal information
Full nameZinedine Yazid Zidane[1][2]
Date of birth(1972-06-23) 23 June 1972 (age 42)[1]
Place of birthMarseille, France
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing positionAttacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Real Madrid Castilla (manager)
Youth career
1982–1983US Saint-Henri
1983–1986SO Septèmes-les-Vallons
Senior career*
2001–2006Real Madrid155(37)
National team
1988–1989France U174(1)
1989–1990France U186(0)
1990–1994France U2120(3)
Teams managed
2013–2014Real Madrid (assistant)
2014–Real Madrid Castilla
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Zinedine Yazid Zidane[3] (French pronunciation: [zinedin zidan] ( ), born 23 June 1972), nicknamed "Zizou", is a former French footballer and current coach of Real Madrid Castilla. He played as an attacking midfielder for the French national team, Juventus and Real Madrid.[4][5] Renowned for his elegance, vision and technique, Zidane was named the best European footballer of the past 50 years in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll,[6] and has been described as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.[7][8][9]

At club level, Zidane won the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, two Serie A league championships with Juventus and an Intercontinental Cup and a UEFA Super Cup each with both aforementioned sides. His 2001 transfer from Juventus to Real Madrid set a world record fee of an equivalent €75 million. On the international stage with France, Zidane won the 1998 FIFA World Cup, scoring twice in the final, and UEFA Euro 2000 where he was named Player of the Tournament. The World Cup triumph made him a national hero in France, and he received the Légion d'honneur in 1998.

Zidane has won the FIFA World Player of the Year three times, a feat achieved only by Ronaldo and Lionel Messi,[10] and the Ballon d'Or once. He was Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 1996, Serie A Footballer of the Year in 2001 and La Liga Best Foreign Player in 2002. Zidane received the Golden Ball at the 2006 World Cup, and in the final was infamously sent off for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest. Following the tournament, Zidane retired from football.

After retirement, Zidane became assistant coach at Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti for the 2013-14 season. After a successful year in which the club won the UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey, Zidane became the coach of Real Madrid's B team, Real Madrid Castilla.[11]

Early life and career[edit]

La Castellane in the northern suburb of Marseille where Zidane was born

Zinedine Zidane was born on 23 June 1972 in La Castellane, Marseille in southern France. Zidane is of Kabyle Berber descent.[12][13] His parents, Smaïl and Malika, emigrated to Paris from the village of Aguemoune in the Berber-speaking region of Kabylie in northern Algeria in 1953 before the start of the Algerian War. The family, which had settled in the city's tough northern districts of Barbès and Saint-Denis, found little work in the region, and in the mid-1960s moved to the northern Marseille suburb of la Castellane in the 16th arrondissement of Marseille. In 1972, Zidane was born there as the youngest of five siblings. His father Smaïl worked as a warehouseman / nightwatchman at a department store, often on the night shift, while his mother was a housewife.[12] The family lived a reasonably comfortable life by the standards of the neighborhood, which was notorious throughout Marseille for its high crime and unemployment rates.[13][14]

It was in Castellane where Zidane had his earliest introduction in football, joining in at the age of five in football games that the neighbourhood's children played on the Place Tartane, an 80-by-12-yard plaza that served as the main square of the housing complex.[15] In July 2011, Zidane named former Olympique Marseille players Blaž Slišković, Enzo Francescoli and Jean-Pierre Papin as his idols while growing up.[16][17]

At the age of ten, Zidane got his first player's licence after joining the junior team of a local club from Castellane by the name of US Saint-Henri.[18] After spending a year and a half at US Saint-Henri, Zidane joined SO Septèmes-les-Vallons when the Septèmes coach Robert Centenero convinced the club's Director to get Zidane.[18]

Zidane stayed with Septèmes until the age of fourteen, at which time he was selected to attend a three-day training camp at the CREPS (Regional Centre for Sports and Physical Education) in Aix-en-Provence, one of several such footballing institutes run by the French Football Federation. It was here that Zidane was spotted by AS Cannes scout, and former player, Jean Varraud who recommended him to the training centre director of the club.[4]

Club career[edit]


He’d go past one, two, three, five, six players – it was sublime. His feet spoke with the ball

— Jean Varraud, former player who discovered Zidane.[4]

Zidane went to Cannes for a six-week stay, but ended up remaining at the club for four years to play at the professional level. Having left his family at the age of fourteen to join Cannes, he was invited by Cannes director Jean-Claude Elineau, to leave the dormitory he shared with 20 other trainees and to come and stay with him and his family. Zidane later said that it was in living with the Elineaus that he found equilibrium.[12]

It was at Cannes where Zidane's first coaches noticed that he was raw and sensitive, prone to attack spectators who insulted his race or family.[19] His first coach, Jean Varraud, encouraged him to channel his anger and focus on his own game. Zidane spent his first weeks at Cannes mainly on cleaning duty as a punishment for punching an opponent who mocked his ghetto origins.[19] The occasional violence that he would display throughout his career was shaped by an internal conflict of being a French-Algerian suspended between cultures, and surviving the tough streets of La Castellane where he grew up.[19]

Zidane made his professional debut with Cannes on 18 May 1989 at the age of sixteen in a French Division 1 match against Nantes.[20] He scored his first goal for the club on 10 February 1991[21] also against Nantes in a 2–1 win. After the match during a party for all the Cannes players, Zidane was given a car by Cannes chairman Alain Pedretti, who had promised him one the day he scored his first goal for the club.[22] On the pitch, Zidane displayed extraordinary technique on the ball, offering glimpses of the talent that would take him to the top of the world game.[4] In his first full season with Cannes, the club secured its first ever European football berth by qualifying for the UEFA Cup after finishing fourth in the league. This remains the club's highest finish in the top flight since getting relegated for the first time from the first division in the 1948–49 season.[23]


Zidane was transferred to Girondins de Bordeaux in the 1992–93 season, winning the 1995 Intertoto Cup after beating Karlsruhe,[24] and finishing runner-up against Bayern Munich in the 1995–96 UEFA Cup,[25][26] in four years with the club. He played a set of midfield combinations with Bixente Lizarazu and Christophe Dugarry, which would become the trademark of both Bordeaux and the 1998 French national team. In 1995, Blackburn Rovers manager Kenny Dalglish had expressed interest in signing both Zidane and Dugarry, to which team owner and chairman Jack Walker reportedly replied, "Why do you want to sign Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?"[27] Also towards the beginning of the 1996 season, according to football agent Barry Silkman, Zidane was offered to Newcastle United for £1.2 million, but the club turned down the offer after watching him, claiming that he was not good enough for the English First Division.[28] In 1996, Zidane received the award for Ligue 1 Player of the Year.[29]


He is a special player. He creates space where there is none. No matter where he gets the ball or how it comes to him, he can get out of trouble. His imagination and his technique are amazing

— Juventus teammate Edgar Davids.[30]

After a series of consistently outstanding performances for both Bordeaux and France, Zidane had offers to join Europe's top clubs in the spring of 1996, deciding on a move to UEFA Champions League winners Juventus during the close season.[31] Zidane's impact in Italy was immediate, and won the 1996–97 Serie A title and the 1996 Intercontinental Cup.[32] He lost in the 1997 UEFA Champions League Final 3–1 to Borussia Dortmund when he was unable to make an impression against the close marking of Paul Lambert.[33][34][35] The following season, Zidane scored seven goals in 32 matches in the league to help Juventus win the 1997–98 Serie A and thus retain the Scudetto. In Europe, Juventus made their third consecutive UEFA Champions League Final appearance, but lost the game 1–0 to Real Madrid, a club Zidane would later join. In 1998, Zidane was named FIFA World Player of the Year, and won the Ballon d'Or. Juventus finished second in the 2000–01 Serie A, but were eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League, after Zidane was banned for head-butting Hamburger SV player Jochen Kientz.[36] In 2001, Zidane was named Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year for the second time.[37]

Real Madrid[edit]

With David Beckham at Real Madrid in 2003

In 2001, Zidane joined Real Madrid for a world record fee of 150 billion Italian lire.[38] (about €75 million[39]) and signed a four-year contract. He scored a famous match-winning goal, a volley hit with his weaker foot, in Madrid's 2–1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final completing his personal quadruple. The goal has been cited as one of the greatest in Champions League history.[40][41][42]

He dominates the ball, he is a walking spectacle and he plays as if he had silk gloves on each foot. He makes it worthwhile going to the stadium — he's one of the best I have ever seen.

Alfredo Di Stéfano on Zidane after he was named World Player of the Year in 2003.[9]

The next season, Zidane helped Real Madrid to win the 2002–03 La Liga and was named the FIFA World Player of the Year for the third time. In 2004, fans voted him as the best European footballer of the previous 50 years in UEFA's fiftieth-anniversary Golden Jubilee Poll.[6]

While Zidane's final season of club football ended without a trophy, he enjoyed success on a personal note by scoring his first hat-trick against Sevilla FC in a 4–2 win in January 2006.[43] He ended the season for Real Madrid as their second highest goalscorer and assists provider behind team-mates Ronaldo and David Beckham respectively, with nine goals and ten assists in 28 games.[44] On 7 May 2006, Zidane, who had announced his plans to retire after the 2006 World Cup,[45] played his farewell match and scored in a 3–3 draw with Villarreal. The squad wore commemorative shirts with ZIDANE 2001–2006 below the club logo. The 80,000 fans inside the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu held up a banner reading: ‘Thanks for the magic’.[4]

In 2012, Zidane featured for Madrid in an All Stars Match against Manchester United which resulted in a 3–2 win for Real. In April 2013, he was named by Marca as a member of the "Best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history".[46]

International career[edit]

Both France and Algeria consider Zidane a citizen, but he was ineligible to play for the Algerian national team. It was rumoured that coach Abdelhamid Kermali denied Zidane a position for the Algerian squad because he felt the young midfielder was not fast enough.[47] However, Zidane dismissed the rumour in a 2005 interview, saying that he would have been ineligible to play for Algeria because he had already played for France.[48]

He earned his first cap with France as a substitute in a friendly against the Czech Republic on 17 August 1994, which ended in a 2–2 draw after Zidane scored twice to help France erase a 2–0 deficit. After Éric Cantona was handed a year-long suspension in January 1995 for assaulting a fan, Zidane took over the playmaker position. France was eliminated in the Euro 96 semi-finals in a penalty shootout by the Czech Republic after the match ended 0–0 in extra time.

1998 World Cup[edit]

Zidane wore number 10 throughout his international career

The 1998 FIFA World Cup was the first World Cup that Zidane participated in. It was held in his home country France. The French team won all three games in the group stage but Zidane was sent off in the second match against Saudi Arabia for a stamp on Fuad Anwar, becoming the first French player to receive a red card in a World Cup Finals. Without their playmaker France proceeded to win 1–0 in the last sixteen game against Paraguay and, on his return to the side, defeated Italy 4–3 on penalties after a goalless draw in the quarter-finals. France then defeated Croatia 2–1 in the semi-final. Zidane played a major role in the team's accomplishment, though he had yet to score a goal at the World Cup.

Zidane and France went on to play against defending champions and favourites Brazil at the Stade de France in the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final. France dominated Brazil from the kick-off, with Zidane scoring two similar goals, both headers from corner kicks taken by Emmanuel Petit and Youri Djorkaeff. Courtesy of Zidane's two goals, France went into the half-time break 2-0 up with one hand already on the World Cup trophy.[4] Petit added a third goal deep in stoppage time to seal the 3–0 win and France's first ever World Cup. Zidane became an instant national hero, and over one million people celebrated the victory on the Champs-Élysées where a huge image of Zidane was projected on the Arc de Triomphe along with the words "Merci Zizou".[49][50][51]

Euro 2000[edit]

Zidane portraited on stairs in Canary Wharf prior to Euro 2004

Two years later France won Euro 2000, becoming the first team to hold both the World Cup and the European Championship since West Germany in 1974. Zidane finished with two goals, a memorable bending free kick against Spain in the quarter-final and the golden goal in the semi-final against Portugal, and was named Player of the Tournament by UEFA.[52]

2002 World Cup[edit]

As reigning world and European champions, France entered the 2002 World Cup as favourites but a thigh injury prevented Zidane from playing in France's first two matches and without their talisman, the French team failed to score in either match. He was rushed back prematurely for the third game despite not being fully fit, but could not prevent France from being ignominiously eliminated in the group stage without scoring a single goal; the worst performance by a defending champion in the history of the competition.[53]

Euro 2004[edit]

At Euro 2004, France topped their group with wins over England and Switzerland, before being knocked out in the quarter finals by eventual champions Greece in a surprise 1–0 loss. In the opening match against England, Zidane scored a free kick and penalty in stoppage time to turn defeat into a 2–1 victory for France. After France's elimination Zidane announced his retirement from international football.[54]

2006 World Cup[edit]

Zidane during the 2006 World Cup Final

With the mass retirement of veteran key players such as Bixente Lizarazu, Marcel Desailly, Claude Makelele and Lilian Thuram, France struggled to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. At the urging of coach Raymond Domenech, Zidane came out of retirement and was immediately reinstated as team captain.[55] Zidane, along with Thuram and Makelele, made his competitive return for France in a 3–0 win over the Faroe Islands on 3 September 2005. The trio helped France rise from fourth place to win their qualifying group.[56] On 27 May 2006, Zidane earned his hundredth cap for France in a 1–0 friendly win over Mexico, in what would also be his last match at the Stade de France. Zidane became France's fourth player to reach 100 caps, after Desailly, Thuram and Didier Deschamps.[57]

France had a slow start to the 2006 World Cup and, after being suspended for the final match of the group stage, Zidane returned to set up a goal for Patrick Vieira and score one himself in the second round match against Spain. In the quarter-final France held Brazil to just one shot on goal in the rematch of the 1998 final. Zidane assisted Thierry Henry's deciding goal and he was named Man of the Match by FIFA.[58] France faced Portugal in the semi final and, as in Brussels six years earlier, Zidane's penalty kick decided the contest and sent France to another major final.[59]

Before the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final in Berlin, Zidane was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament.[60] Having already announced he was to retire after the expiration of his Real Madrid contract at the end of the 2005–06 season, the world of football already knew Zidane's second World Cup final was to be the last match of his career. Seven minutes into the match Zidane put France ahead with a penalty kick and became only the fourth player in World Cup history to score in two different finals, along with Pelé, Paul Breitner, and Vavá, in addition to being tied for first place with Vavá, Pelé and Geoff Hurst with three World Cup final goals apiece. He almost scored a second goal during the first period of extra time but his header was saved by Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. Zidane was then sent off in the 110th minute of the game after headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest,[61] so he did not participate in the penalty shootout which Italy won 5–3.[62] Zidane's actions made headlines all over the world, while in France Le Figaro called his head-butt "odious", and the front page of L'Equipe asked: "What should we tell our children, for whom you have become an example for ever? ... How could that happen to a man like you?".[59]

The match you played last night was full of talent and professionalism. I know that you are sad and disappointed but what I want to tell you is that the whole country is extremely proud of you. You have honoured the country with your exceptional qualities and your fantastic fighting spirit, which was your strength in difficult times, but also in winning times.

—President of France, Jacques Chirac, pays tribute to Zidane after the 2006 World Cup.[59]

Upon his return to France, the Place de la Concorde in Paris was filled with thousands of fans waving flags and rhythmically chanting "Zizou! Zizou!", and tributes were led by the French president Jacques Chirac.[59] Chirac's words reflected the feeling of the French public, with polls done in the immediate wake of the incident showing support for Zidane: 61% of French people said they had already forgiven him for his actions while 52% said they understood them.[59] According to French journalist Philippe Auclair, Zidane's performances in the knock-out rounds were, "ranked among his finest in a blue shirt".[59] As the player of the tournament, Zidane had given the team hope, with the French daily newspaper Libération stating; "For a month, France was dreaming with Zidane".[59] Zidane remained an icon to the French public, and one French writer stated, "It's good for us to see our national hero is fallible."[59] It was later discovered through interviews that Marco Materazzi had insulted Zidane's sister, which led to Zidane's heightened anger and reaction. In 2010, Zidane said that he would "rather die than apologize" to Materazzi for the headbutt in the final,[63] but also admitted that he "could never have lived with himself" had he been allowed to remain on the pitch and help France win the match.[64]

Following his red card in the final, Zidane retired from professional football and confirmed that he would not go back on his decision.[65] He was sentenced by FIFA to a three match suspension for the red card.[66] He agreed to complete three days of community service with children in one of FIFA's humanitarian projects.[67]


Since his retirement, Zidane regularly plays for the Real Madrid Veterans team. He has also made several futsal appearances. In an interview in June 2008, Zidane stated that he wanted to return to football, but that he had no immediate plans to do so.[68]

On 1 June 2009, Zidane was announced as the Advisor to the President after Florentino Perez was named President of Real Madrid for the second time.[69] He along with Jorge Valdano, General Director, and Miguel Pardeza, Sporting Director, were to be the key decision makers on the sporting side of the club.[69] After France's dismal campaign in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Zidane said that he did not plan to move into coaching any time soon.[70]

Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid committee announced in September 2010 that Zidane had been appointed as an ambassador for Qatar's attempt to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.[71] After FIFA announced on 2 December 2010 that Qatar had won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup,[72] Zidane stated that he was "very pleased" with the outcome.[73]

Charity activities[edit]

Zidane during an appearance for the Danone Nations Cup, 2008
Zidane in the Match Against Poverty in Bern, March 2014

On 24 February 2007, before a crowd of 10,000 fans at a match in northern Thailand for the Keuydaroon children's AIDS charity, Zidane scored the first goal and set up the second for a Malaysian teammate as the match ended 2–2. The event raised ฿260,000 ($7,750). This money paid for the building of two schools and 16 three-bedroom houses.[74]

On 19 November 2008, Zidane took part in the fifth annual Match Against Poverty in Málaga, Spain, which also ended in a 2–2 draw; he went scoreless but set up his team's second goal. He and Ronaldo, who collaborated in conceiving the yearly event to benefit the United Nations Development Programme, regularly captain their respective teams consisting of active footballers, other professional athletes and celebrities.[75] Zidane, a UN Goodwill Ambassador since 2001, stated before the game that "everyone can do something to make the world a better place".[76]

In June and July 2009, Zidane toured across Canada with stops in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Although billed as Zidane and "Friends", the likes of which included Fabien Barthez and Samuel Eto'o, the exhibition matches featured local players. Tournament organisers cited lack of sponsorship and support from the Canadian Soccer Association for the disorganized rosters. Some proceeds were given to Unicef.

On 6 June 2010, Zidane took part in the bi-annual charity event Soccer Aid. He played for the Rest of the World team, managed by former Liverpool and Celtic forward Kenny Dalglish against England alongside former Real Madrid teammate Luis Figo, and Celtic legend Henrik Larsson. He played against former players such as Teddy Sheringham and Alan Shearer, as well as celebrities such as Hollywood actors Woody Harrelson, Mike Myers, Michael Sheen, chef Gordon Ramsay and singer Robbie Williams.[77] The match took place at Old Trafford in Manchester and was won by The Rest of the World for the first time, the winning penalty scored by Harrelson, after a 2–2 draw.[77]

On 2 June 2013, Zidane took part in a charity match played at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United Legends vs Real Madrid Legends reverse Fixture. The first leg took place in Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. He was part of a team which included the likes of Figo, Fernando Redondo and Manolo Sanchis. This fixture raised funds for the Manchester United Foundation.[78]

Coaching career[edit]

In November 2010, Zidane was appointed as a special adviser to Real Madrid's first team in response to an appeal made by Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho for the former Real midfielder to work more closely with the team. In his new role, Zidane is expected to participate in Champions League events and functions. He is also to travel with the first team on a regular basis and participate in pre-match gatherings, training sessions and meetings with the head coach.[79] In July 2011 it was announced that he would become Real Madrid's new sporting director.[80] In 2013, Zidane was appointed assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid.[81]

In June 2014, Real Madrid announced that Zidane will be the coach of Real Madrid's B team, Real Madrid Castilla.[11] On 29 August, director of the Spanish National Football Coach Education Centre (CENAFE), Miguel Galán, reported Zidane for acting as Real Madrid Castilla's head coach without the necessary coaching badges.[82] According to Galán, "No one who has anything to do with the football world can be unaware that Zidane is acting as Real Madrid Castilla's head coach this season. It is a fait accompli that has been widely accepted, as shown by media reports, and Real Madrid do not deny it".[82] While the official match report for Castilla's opening game in the Segunda División B lists Santiago Sánchez as the 'Los Blancos' head coach and Zidane as his assistant, Galán states: "This hierarchy only exists on paper. The truth is the exact opposite: Zidane is acting as Real Madrid Castilla's head coach, while, with all due respect to him as a colleague, Mr Sánchez's role basically boils down to providing the badges".[82][83]


Zidane is the master. Over the past ten years, there's been no one like him, he has been the best player in the world.


Technically, I think he is the king of what's fundamental in the game — control and passing. I don't think anyone can match him when it comes to controlling or receiving the ball.

Michel Platini.[8]

Zidane was football's answer to the Bolshoi Ballet. Zidane was elegance above all else.

Sid Lowe, football journalist.[85]

Many authoritative voices have acclaimed Zidane's skills and importance in the history of football, such as Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who called Zidane "a monster" for his performance and abilities.[86] German coach Franz Beckenbauer stated: "Zidane is one of the greatest players in history, a truly magnificent player."[86] Italy's manager Marcello Lippi, who has also coached Zidane, opined "I think Zidane is the greatest talent we've known in football these last twenty years, yet he never played the prima donna. I am honoured to have been his manager."[86] Former England manager Kevin Keegan said; "You look at Zidane and think 'I've never seen a player quite like that'. Diego Maradona was a great player. Johan Cruyff was a great player. They were different — but with similarities. What sets Zidane apart is the way he manipulates a football, buying himself space that isn't there. Add his vision and it makes him very special".[87] At the 1998 World Cup, Italian manager Cesare Maldini said: "I would give up five players to have Zidane in my squad."[88]

Among his peers, Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović commented; "Zidane was from another planet. When Zidane stepped onto the pitch, the ten other guys just got suddenly better. It is that simple".[89] David Beckham has described Zidane as "the greatest of all time",[90][91] FC Barcelona star Xavi has stated in a 2010 interview that Zidane was "the '90s and early 2000s best player"[92] while Brazilian defender and former Real Madrid teammate Roberto Carlos has said of Zidane, "He is the best player I've seen. Playing alongside him was a crazy thing! Supporters arrived earlier at the Bernabeu just to see him warm-up".[93] Displaying skills with an array of moves such as his signature La Roulette pirouette, step overs and close ball control, former Brazilian international Rivaldo enjoyed watching Zidane more than any other player, stating; "His elegance of movement on the pitch and his skills are uncanny."[94] Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso opined; "What he could do with a football is a dream for most of us".[95] In 2005, upon Zidane's return to the French national team, his team mate Thierry Henry stated; "In France, everybody realized that God exists, and that he is back in the French international team. God is back, there is little left to say".[96]

In a 2002 FIFA poll, Zidane was selected in the FIFA World Cup Dream Team.[97] When Uefa.com asked players, journalists and their users to crown the best player in the UEFA Champions League of the past twenty years, in 2011, Zidane topped the poll ahead of Lionel Messi.[98] In 2014, in a poll carried out by French TV channel TF1, Zidane was voted as the best player in the history of the French league ahead of other French football legends such as Michel Platini and Raymond Kopa.[99]

In popular culture[edit]

Headbutt, statue of Materazzi being headbutted by Zidane in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final.
Zidane as he appears in the Family Guy episode "Saving Private Brian".

Zidane has had endorsements with many companies, including: Adidas, Lego, France Telecom, Orange, Audi, Volvic and Christian Dior. These sponsorship deals earned him €8.6 million on top of his €6.4 million Real Madrid salary in 2006, totalling €15 million ($20.4 million) making him the sixth-highest paid footballer.[100][101] In 2004, Forbes magazine listed his earnings of $15.8 million for the previous 12 months.[102] In May 2010 Zidane appeared in a commercial for Louis Vuitton, indulging in a game of table football with fellow legends Pelé and Diego Maradona.[103]

In 2005 filmmakers Philippe Parreno and Douglas Gordon filmed a documentary Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, which follows Zidane during an entire match, filmed with 17 cameras. Scottish post-rock band Mogwai provided the soundtrack. The documentary was part of the 2009 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.[104]

In November 2006, Zidane toured Bangladesh as the guest of Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. He also visited the Algerian birthplace of his parents, and met personally with Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who gave him an official reception.[105] In 2012 Algerian artist Adel Abdessemed unveiled a bronze sculpture depicting Zidane's headbutt of Marco Materazzi.[106]

On 5 November 2006, Zidane appeared in the American animated sitcom Family Guy, seen headbutting an old lady in the episode "Saving Private Brian" as a parody of his headbutt on Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup Final.[107]

In 2010, footage of Zidane appears in the "Waka Waka" music video by Shakira, which shows him celebrating France winning the 1998 World Cup.[108]

In 2014, Australian sports presenter Les Murray collaborated with the band Vaudeville Smash and performed a Zidane tribute song, the accompanying video featuring four footballers performing ball tricks in Zidane masks, one of whom ends up headbutting a nightwatchman.[109][110]

Personal life[edit]

Zidane's parents' house in the village of Aguemoune Ath Slimane in Algeria.

Zidane met his Spanish wife, Véronique Fernández,[111] while playing for Cannes in the 1988–89 season. They have four sons: Enzo Alan Zidane Fernández (born 24 March 1995), Luca Zinedine Zidane Fernández (born 13 May 1998),[112] Theo Zidane Fernández (born 18 May 2002),[113] and Elyaz Zidane Fernández (born 26 December 2005). Enzo, Luca and Theo are all members of the Real Madrid Academy. Enzo (Midfielder) is a Juvenil A player, Luca (Goalkeeper) is in Cadete A and Theo (Striker) is in Alevín A.[114]

Zidane has described himself as "a non-practicing Muslim."[12] He was voted one of the "Top 10 Greatest Muslim Athletes of All Time" by Complex.[115]

Career statistics[edit]



Club performanceLeagueCupContinentalTotal
FranceLeagueCoupe de FranceEuropeTotal
1988–89CannesDivision 1200020
ItalyLeagueCoppa ItaliaEuropeTotal
1996–97JuventusSerie A29520102417
SpainLeagueCopa del ReyEuropeTotal
2001–02Real MadridLa Liga31792934912



National TeamYearAppsGoals

A Includes one appearance from the match against FIFA XI on 16 August 2000 which FIFA and the French Football Federation count as an official friendly match.[118]

International goals[edit]

International goals[118]
117 August 1994Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux, France Czech Republic1–22–2Friendly Match
217 August 1994Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux, France Czech Republic2–22–2Friendly Match
36 September 1995Stade Abbe Deschamps, Auxerre, France Azerbaijan7–010–01996 UEFA Euro Qualifying
411 October 1995Stadionul Steaua, Bucharest, Romania Romania1–31–31996 UEFA Euro Qualifying
521 February 1996Stade des Costières, Nimes, France Greece3–13–1Friendly Match
611 June 1997Parc des Princes, Paris, France Italy1–02–2Tournoi de France
728 January 1998Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France Spain1–01–0Friendly Match
825 February 1998Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France Norway2–13–3Friendly Match
927 May 1998Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca, Morocco Belgium0–10–11998 Hassan II Trophy
1012 July 1998Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France Brazil1–03–0Final, 1998 World Cup
1112 July 1998Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France Brazil2–03–0Final, 1998 World Cup
128 September 1999Hrazdan Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia Armenia1–22–32000 UEFA Euro Qualifying
1323 February 2000Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France Poland1–01–0Friendly Match
144 June 2000Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca, Morocco Japan1–12–22000 Hassan II Trophy
1525 June 2000Jan Breydel, Bruges, Belgium Spain0–11–2Quarter-final, 2000 UEFA Euro
1628 June 2000King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium Portugal1–21–2Semi-final, 2000 UEFA Euro
1727 February 2001Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France Germany1–01–0Friendly Match
1824 March 2001Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France Japan1–05–0Friendly Match
1927 February 2002Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France Scotland1–05–0Friendly Match
2029 March 2003Stade Félix-Bollaert, Lens, Pas-de-Calais, France Malta4–06–02004 UEFA Euro Qualifying
2129 March 2003Stade Félix-Bollaert, Lens, Pas-de-Calais, France Malta6–06–02004 UEFA Euro Qualifying
222 April 2003Renzo Barbera, Palermo, Italy Israel0–21–22004 UEFA Euro Qualifying
236 June 2004Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France Ukraine1–01–0Friendly Match
2413 June 2004Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal England1–12–1Group Stage, 2004 UEFA Euro
2513 June 2004Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal England2–12–1Group Stage, 2004 UEFA Euro
2621 June 2004Estádio Cidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal Switzerland0–11–3Group Stage, 2004 UEFA Euro
2717 August 2005Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier, France Ivory Coast2–03–0Friendly Match
2812 October 2005Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France Cyprus1–04–02006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
2927 June 2006Niedersachsenstadion, Hannover, Germany Spain1–31–3Round of 16, 2006 FIFA World Cup
305 July 2006Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany Portugal0–10–1Semi-final, 2006 FIFA World Cup
319 July 2006Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany Italy0–11–1 (aet), 5–3 (pen)Final, 2006 FIFA World Cup








Real Madrid



Assistant Manager[edit]

Real Madrid

Notes and references[edit]

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External links[edit]