Zinedine Zidane's Biography
Zinedine Zidane's move to Real Madrid was for a world record transfer fee of £46m.
Zidane's debut for France was back in August 1994, since when he has won 93 caps and scored 26 goals.
When, in August 2004, Zinedine Zidane (nicknamed Zizou) announced his decision to retire from international football, the French media were unstinting in their praise. Le Monde said his announcement "left millions of admirers in mourning". Liberation referred to Zidane as the "most loved player of his generation."
However, with France in trouble, Zidane came out of retirement to help them qualify for the 2006 World Cup. Zizou retired from France and Real Madrid after the finals in Germany.
With France, he won the 1998 World Cup (with Zidane scoring twice in the final against Brazil) and Euro 2000.
There is no doubting that Zidane is a footballing genius - a view confirmed by his being made World player of the year in 1998, 2000 and 2003; and European player of the year in 1998.
A testimony of Zidane's key role to the French national team are the words of defender Bixente Lizarazu: "When we don't know what to do, we just give the ball to Zizou and he works something out."
In the 2006 World Cup, Zidane's 90th minute goal against Spain put beyond doubt France's qualification for a quarter-final tie against Brazil. In that match Zidane's performance was virtuoso with his free-kick leading to the goal that got France into the semi-finals, beating Brazil 1-0.
Zidane also had a good game in the semi-final against Portugal and it was his penalty in the 33rd minute that secured a 1-0 victory and a place for France in the final.
Zinedine Zidane was selected as part of FIFA's All Star Team featuring the 23 top players at the 2006 World Cup and FIFAworldcup.com readers voted him the most outstanding player of the semi-finals with a huge 45% of the vote.
After such a fine World Cup, the final ended tragically for Zinedine Zidane. After he was sent off in extra-time for a head-butt on Marco Materazzi, France went on to lose the penalty shoot-out to Italy 5-3.
The BBC article, Domenech defends disgraced Zidane gives the French coach's perspective.
In spite of the sending off, Zinedine Zidane won the Golden Ball award for the World Cup's best player - the poll of journalists took place at half-time during the final and therefore before the head-butt on Marco Materazzi.
On 5 January 2016, Zinedine Zidane was named the new manager of Real Madrid.
He had previously been working as manager of the club’s B team Castilla.
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