Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane History - video powered by Metacafe

Zinédine Yazid Zidane (IPA: [ˌzineˈdin jaziːd ziˈdan]) (born 23 June 1972 in Marseille, France), popularly nicknamed Zizou (IPA: [ziˈzu]), is a former French football player of Amazigh Berber ethnicity, whose parents immigrated to France from Kabyle, Algeria. Zidane has starred for both the French national team and four European club teams, most recently Real Madrid.

In the 1998 World Cup final, Zidane attracted international attention with two headed goals against Brazil that won his country's first ever FIFA World Cup title. He contributed to his teams' victories in the Euro 2000, the UEFA Champions League, and domestic championships in Italy and Spain.

Zidane was elected FIFA World Player of the Year a record four times (1998, 2000, 2003, 2006) and was named European Footballer of the Year in 1998. The world-record fee of € 66 million for his transfer to Real Madrid in 2001 remains unequalled. In 2004, he topped the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll on Best European football player of the past 50 years, and was included in the FIFA 100, Pelé's list of the 125 greatest living footballers. At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, thus receiving the Golden Ball.

As announced on 25 April 2006, Zidane retired from football after the 2006 World Cup Final on 9 July 2006.

Zidane got his start in football at an early age when he joined the junior team of US Saint-Henri, his local club in the La Castellane district of Marseille. On the recommendation of Saint-Henri's coach, he was then signed by Septemes Sports Olympiques. At the age of 14, Zidane left Septemes and participated in the first year junior selection for the league championship, where Jean Varraud, AS Cannes' recruiter, took notice of him. Zidane went to Cannes for what was intended to be a six-week stay, but remained at the club for four years to play with professionals. Afterwards, Zidane spent four years with FC Girondins de Bordeaux, leading them to victory in the 1995 Intertoto Cup and to a 2nd place in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup tournament. In Bordeaux, he met Bixente Lizarazu and Christophe Dugarry, with whom he played a set of midfield combinations that would become the trademark of both Bordeaux and the 1998 French national team. In 1996, he was transferred to Italy's Juventus F.C. for a fee of £ 3 million.

At Juventus, Zidane was one of the top players of Marcello Lippi's team, along with Didier Deschamps, Alessandro Del Piero, and Edgar Davids. His team won two Serie A titles and reached two consecutive UEFA Champions League finals, in 1997 and 1998, losing both, the latter to the Spanish club Real Madrid.

In 2001, Zidane was transferred to Real Madrid on a four-year contract. The transfer fee was € 66 million, the highest in football history. His fellow Galacticos at Madrid included Raúl González, Luís Figo, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, and later David Beckham. He scored a spectacular winning goal in a 2-1 win over the German team Bayer Leverkusen in the 2001-2002 Champions League final at Glasgow's Hampden Park.

On 7 May 2006, Zidane played his last home game for Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium. His team-mates wore special jerseys that had ZIDANE 2001–2006 written on the bottom of the club logo. The Real Madrid fans gave him a warm reception and kept cheering him throughout the game. The opposing team was Villarreal CF, and the game ended in a 3-3 draw. He scored the second goal for Real Madrid. After the game, Zidane swapped jerseys with Juan Roman Riquelme, the Villarreal CF and Argentinian midfielder. Zidane was given an ovation by spectators, which left him in tears.

Zidane holds dual citizenship of both France and Algeria, and therefore could have played for Algeria. However, coach Abdelhamid Kermali denied him a position on the team, arguing that the young midfielder was not fast enough.

He earned his first cap with the French national football team on 17 August 1994, coming on as a substitute in the 63rd minute of a friendly match against the Czech Republic. France was behind 0-2 when Zidane came on and scored two goals for a 2-2 draw.

At that time, manager Aimé Jacquet had planned to field the team around Manchester United star Eric Cantona, but after Cantona earned a year long suspension in January of 1995 (he launched a 'kung-fu' style kick against an allegedly abusive Crystal Palace fan, Matthew Simmons), Jacquet rearranged the team and positioned Zidane as playmaker. Despite criticism from fans and pundits regarding the choice of players, France made it to the semi-finals of the Euro 1996, the Czechs beat France on 6-5 on penalties (0-0 after extra time).

Zidane was a member of the French national football team that won the 1998 FIFA World Cup. During France's second match of the first round, he received a red card and a two-game suspension in a 4-0 win over Saudi Arabia for stamping on Saudi Arabia's team captain Fuad Amin. Reports from people close to Zidane stated that Amin had provoked him verbally. After scoring in the penalty shootout in the quarter-final against Italy, he scored his only regular goals of the tournament in the final against Brazil, leading his team to a 3-0 win.

In the Euro 2000 tournament, Zidane helped his team reach the final with inspired play and important goals. He scored a direct free kick in the quarter-final against Spain and a golden goal penalty in the semi-final against Portugal. France went on to win the tournament by defeating Italy in the final, making it the first team in 34 years to hold both the World Cup and the European Cup. Subsequently, his team was ranked 1st in the world.

A thigh injury prevented Zidane from playing in France's first two matches of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He rushed back from his injury to play in the third game, but could not perform at his usual level. France was eliminated in the first round without scoring a single goal, and the attempt at defending the World Cup title was unsuccessful.

In the Euro 2004 tournament, Zidane and his team started strongly, and he scored a free kick and a penalty in a come-from-behind victory against England in the group stage. On 12 August 2004, after France was upset in the quarter-finals to the eventual winners, the Greek national football team, Zidane retired from international football.

However, after France experienced problems in qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Zidane announced on 3 August 2005 that he was coming back to play for France and was reinstated as captain of the national team. He made his competitive return in the 3-0 FIFA World Cup qualifier win against the Faroe Islands on 3 September 2005, and France went on to win their qualifying group.

On 25 April 2006, after an injury-plagued season at Real Madrid, Zidane announced that he would retire from professional football following the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany.

On 27 May 2006, Zidane earned his 100th cap for France in a 1-0 victory over Mexico at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on the outskirts of Paris. It was his last match in the stadium, and he became only the fourth French player after Marcel Desailly, Didier Deschamps and Lilian Thuram to earn a hundred national caps. He was substituted early in the second half.

In the closing minutes of France's second match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, against South Korea, Zidane received a yellow card for a late tackle, his second booking of the tournament. As a result, he was suspended from the third and final match of the group stage. France nonetheless beat Togo 2-0, allowing Zidane to play in the knockout stage, from which he would score or assist in every match afterwards. He returned to the pitch in the Round of 16 match against Spain. Zidane set up Patrick Vieira for the second goal by sending a free kick into the penalty area. During stoppage time, he scored the final goal of the match for a 3-1 victory.

The win sent France into a quarter-final against defending champions Brazil, in a rematch of the 1998 final. Zidane's set piece free-kick led to a goal by Thierry Henry, giving France a 1-0 win over the Seleção. Despite the score, France had thoroughly outplayed Brazil in the match, only facing one shot on goal, while Zidane created numerous scoring chances with his dribbles past defenders, displaying some of his trademark juggling as Brazillians swarmed around him. He was named Man of the Match by FIFA's Technical Study Group. In the semi-final against Portugal four days later, Zidane scored a penalty kick against Ricardo for the only goal of the match and saw France through to the final against Italy.

On 9 July 2006, Zidane played his second World Cup final—his final game—and scored in the 7th minute from the penalty spot with a chip shot that hit the crossbar before narrowly bouncing behind the goal line. He became one of only four footballers to achieve the feat of scoring in two different World Cup finals, sharing the honour with Pelé, Paul Breitner, and Vavá. This goal also made him one of the top goalscorers in World Cup final matches, with 3 goals, tied for first place with Vavá, Geoff Hurst and Pelé. He was sent off in the 110th minute, and thus did not participate in the penalty shootout which Italy won 5-3. Despite the subsequent controversy over his offence in the final, Zidane was awarded the Golden Ball as Best Player in the 2006 World Cup.

In the 110th minute of the World Cup final against Italy, Zidane was sent off for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest in an off the ball incident. The two players exchanged words before Zidane began to walk away from him. Materazzi then said something to Zidane, who turned around, made a run-up and head-butted Materazzi in the chest, sending him to the ground. Although play was halted, referee Horacio Elizondo did not appear to have seen the confrontation. According to match official's reports, Fourth official Luis Medina Cantalejo informed Elizondo of the incident through his earphones. After consulting his assistant referees, Elizondo showed Zidane the red card and sent him off.

Since video footage suggested that Materazzi had provoked Zidane, newspapers had lip readers try to determine what Materazzi had said, coming up with a variety of insults. In his first, highly awaited comments since the World Cup final, the French soccer star only partly explained what caused him to react in fury and head-butt an Italian opponent: repeated harsh insults about his mother and sister, striking a devastating blow to his social status. He is now held in custody in with not Zidane's sister, but Michael Jackson himself. Materazzi admitted insulting Zidane, but said that Zidane's behavior had been very arrogant. He stressed that the insults had been trivial. Zidane later stated that Materazzi had seriously and repeatedly insulted his mother and his sister and that he would "rather have taken a blow to the face than hear that". He also apologized to viewers, particularly children and educators, but said that he did not regret his offence because he felt that this would condone Materazzi's actions. Two months later, in continuing to assert that his comments had been trivial, Materazzi refused to apologize to Zidane, but stated his desire for reconciliation. He also offered his version of events, claiming that after grabbing Zidane's shirt, Zidane had sarcastically offered it to him, and that he replied to Zidane that he would prefer his sister.

After the final, President Jacques Chirac hailed Zidane as a national hero and called him a "man of heart and conviction". Chirac later added that he found the offence to be unacceptable, but that he understood that Zidane had been provoked. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria expressed his solidarity with Zidane in a letter of support. French newspaper Le Figaro called the headbutt "odious" and "unacceptable". The editor-in-chief of French sports daily L'Équipe compared Zidane's greatness to Muhammad Ali's, but added that Ali, Jesse Owens and Pelé had never "broken the most elementary rules of sport" as Zidane had. He questioned how Zidane could explain the offence to "millions of children around the world", but apologized the following day. A commentator for TIME magazine regarded the incident as a symbol for Europe's "grappling with multi-culturalism". Zidane's sponsors announced that they would stick with him. The incident was extensively lampooned on the internet and in popular culture.

In light of Zidane's statements, FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings to investigate the incident. FIFA also affirmed the legality of Horacio Elizondo's decision to send Zidane off, rejecting claims that fourth official Luis Medina Cantalejo had illegally relied on video transmission before informing Elizondo about Zidane's misconduct. As a result of its investigation, FIFA issued a CHF5000 fine and a two-match ban against Materazzi, while Zidane received a three-match ban and a CHF7500 fine. According to FIFA, both players had stressed that Materazzi's comments had been defamatory, but not of a racist nature. Since Zidane was already retired at the time, he voluntarily served three days of community service on FIFA's behalf, as a substitute for the three-match ban.


* UEFA Club Football Awards, Best Midfielder: 1997-98
* World Soccer Player of the Year: 1998
* FIFA World Player of the Year: 1998, 2000, 2003
* European Footballer of the Year (Ballon d'Or): 1998
* UEFA Champions League Most Valuable Player: 2001-02
* UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll (Best European player of the past 50 years): 2004
* FIFA World Cup Golden Ball Award: 2006

With France

* FIFA World Cup
o Winner: 1998
o Runner Up: 2006
o Appearances: 1998, 2002, 2006
* European Championship
o Winner: 2000
o Appearances: 1996, 2000, 2004

With Girondins de Bordeaux

* UEFA Cup runners up: 1995/1996

With Juventus F.C.:

* Italian League - Serie A champions (scudetto): 1996/1997, 1997/1998
* European Super Cup: 1996
* Intercontinental Cup: 1996
* Italian Super Cup: 1997
* UEFA Champions League runners up: 1996/1997, 1997/1998

With Real Madrid:

* Spanish Super Cup: 2001, 2003
* UEFA Champions League: 2001/2002
* Intercontinental Cup: 2002
* Spanish League - La Liga champions: 2002/2003
* European Super Cup: 2002

Personal honours:

* Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur: since 1998
* Torchbearer for the 2004 Summer Olympics
* Prince of Asturias Awards nomination in the Sports category, 2006.

Zidane was born in Marseille, France to Kabyle immigrants, as the youngest of five children, and raised in La Castellane, a government-sponsored housing project (cité HLM) in the city's northern suburbs (the Quartier Nord). His parents Ismail (اسماعيل) and Malika (ملكه) were originally from the village of Aguemone, in the Kabylie region of northern Algeria. He considers himself a non-practicing Muslim. In 1993, he married Véronique Zidane (née Lentisco), a former French dancer and model of Spanish origin whose parents lives in Rodez, Aveyron, France. They have four sons: Enzo (born 24 March 1995), Luca (born 13 May 1998), Théo (born 18 May 2002), and Élyaz (born 26 December 2005).

* Zidane's name is of Arabic origin (Algerian Arabic: Zīn ad-Dīn Yazīd Zīdān, Arabic: زين الدين يزيد زيدان‎, transliteration: Zayn-u-Dīn Yazīd Zaydān). Zinédine translates to "the beauty of the religion" (Arabic Zayn-u-Dīn—from zayn, "beauty", and dīn, "religion; faith"). Yazid is a boy's name, sometimes spelled Yazeed (Arabic Yazīd, "one who increases, becoming greater"). Zidane is expressing the overabundance of something that the bearer of name is said to possess, such as talent (Arabic Zaydān—from zayd, "overabundant", and an, "two"). The nickname Zizou was given to Zidane by coach Rolland Courbis while Zidane played for Girondins de Bordeaux. Yaz is the nickname given to him by his brothers and used by his family and close friends.

* Allegations by members of controversial French right-wing party Front National that Zidane's father was a Harki (an Algerian who fought for the French during the Algerian War of Independence), have been strongly denied by Zidane. He is said to be very proud of his family and his heritage, identifying himself as "first, a Kabyle from La Castellane, then an Algerian from Marseille, and then a Frenchman."

* Zidane is known to be modest, quiet and shy. However, he has occasionally shown a quick temper on the pitch. Besides his controversial offence in the 2006 World Cup final, he received a red card and a two-game suspension for stomping on Saudi Arabia's team captain Fuad Amin in the 1998 World Cup – allegedly in response to an insult – and headbutted Jochen Kientz in a 2000/2001 Champions League match between Juventus and Hamburger SV, for which he was also sent off. Overall, he was sent off 14 times in his career which is considered quite low for a player as exposed as him. He is one of four players that have been sent off in a World Cup final, one of two players that have been sent off during two different World Cup tournaments (the other player being Cameroon's Rigobert Song) and the only player ever to be sent off during extra time of a World Cup final.

* Zidane has had sponsorship deals with companies including Adidas, Lego, Danone, Generali, France Télécom, Orange, Audi, Ford and Christian Dior. Sponsorship deals like these earned him €8.6 million on top of his €6.4 million Real Madrid salary in the 2005-06 season, making him the sixth highest paid football player. In 2004, Forbes magazine had named him the 42nd highest paid athlete in the world at earnings of US$15.8 million a year.

* Zidane is the President for Life for Nouvelle Vague, a club in Marseille coached by his brother Farid (فريد).

* In 2001, Zidane was appointed as the United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador for the fight against poverty.

* Since 2000, Zidane has been consistently voted one of the most popular French personalities in newspaper polls. He was voted most popular in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2006, second most popular in 2005, and fourth most popular in 2001 and in 2002.

* In 1995 Zinedine Zidane may have become another high profile signing for Blackburn Rovers during the Jack Walker era. Kenny Dalglish had wanted to sign both Zidane and Christophe Dugarry who were playing in France for FC Girondins de Bordeaux, however Walker reportedly said to Dalglish: "Why do you want to sign Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?"Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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