Zinedine Zidane is one of the most famous French football players of all time, widely regarded as a master of the fundamentals and techniques of the game. He is known for his excellent control and dribbling skills, his magic ball touch, his focused vision, and great leadership traits. During his active soccer years, no player would surpass the way he controlled and received the ball. He scored 31 goals, out of his 108 international outings.
Since his retirement, Zidane has actively participated in his beloved game as a manager. In his active years, he was celebrated as the top-notch player for France. His excellence in football has bestowed Zidane some coveted awards and awards such as the FIFA World Player of the Year thrice, and the Ballon d’Or once.
|Full Name||Zinedine Zidane|
|Date of Birth / Age||June 23, 1972 (age 49 years)|
|Birth Place||La Castellane, Marseille, France|
|Net Worth||$120 Million|
|Spouse||Véronique Zidane (m. 1994)|
Table of Contents
Zinedine Zidane Childhood and Early Life
Zinedine Zidane was born in Marseille, France, on June 23, 1972. Zidane was the fifth child of Smail and Malika Zidane. While his father was a warehouseman by profession, his mother was a homemaker. Unlike people in the neighborhood, the Zidane family was a respected lot and lived a reasonably comfortable life, unlike others who were involved in high crime and were basically, unemployed. At the tender age of five, young Zidane was introduced to the football game. Together with his neighborhood friends, he played football, at the main square of the housing complex known as, the Place Tartane. In his early days, his love for football was mainly influenced by Olympique Marseille players; Jean-Pierre Papin, Enzo Francescoli, and Blaz Sliskovic who were his soccer star idols.
At the age of ten, Zidane bagged his first player license for the junior team of a local club from La Castellane. He perfected his skills on the rough streets of La Castellane in Marseille, France. However, his term at the club was short-lived and after about one and a half years he was transferred to SO Septemes-Les-Vallons. His alliance with September, however, lasted for about two and a half years, after which he was among those selected for a three-day training in Aix-en-Province at the CREPS. While training at CREPS, his skills were ascertained by AS Cannes recruiter, Jean Varraud, at a French Football Federation training camp. He was taken in where he spent his next three years, perfecting his skills in the Cannes’ Youth division.
Zinedine Zidane Career
Zidane made his first professional appearance for Cannes at 17, scoring a goal in his debut. He transferred to Bordeaux in 1992, and in the ensuing years, the attacking midfielder earned renown for his sterling all-around play. Prone to the occasional flash of temper, Zidane otherwise was the embodiment of control with the ball at his feet, seemingly knowing when to maneuver through the defense, find a teammate with a pinpoint pass, or rocket a shot at the goal.
Zidane transferred to Juventus F.C. in Italy’s prestigious Series A-League in 1996. The move brought a marked increase in visibility and expectations, but Zidane proved he was up to the challenge by steering Juventus to an Italian Super Cup, a UEFA Super Cup, an Intercontinental Cup, and a pair of Series A titles over the next two seasons.
At his peak when France hosted the 1998 World Cup, Zidane spearheaded Les Bleus’ march through the tournament with his crisp passing and dribbling and then scored twice as France shut down Brazil in the final, 3-0, to become a national hero. Two years later, Zidane again was the linchpin of the French team’s run to international glory, which culminated with a 2-1 win over Italy for the European Championship.
In 2001, Zidane signed with Spanish club Real Madrid for a world-record transfer fee of more than $66 million. The investment paid immediate dividends, as the French import helped Real Madrid win the coveted UEFA Champions League title in his first year and La Liga the following season.
Zidane had indicated he would retire after the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and it appeared his career was heading for a storybook finish when France advanced to the final against Italy. Instead, it ended in shocking fashion when, enraged by opponent Marco Materazzi’s comments to him in extra time, he slammed his head into the Italian player’s chest. Zidane was thrown out of the game, and France subsequently lost on penalty kicks.
Zinedine Zidane Managerial career
In November 2010, Zidane was appointed as a special adviser to Real Madrid’s first team in response to an appeal made by then-Real Madrid coach José Mourinho for the former Real midfielder to work more closely with the team. In July 2011, it was announced that he would become Real Madrid’s new sporting director. In 2013, Zidane was appointed assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid.
In June 2014, Real Madrid announced that Zidane would be the coach of Real Madrid’s B team, Real Madrid Castilla.
On 4 January 2016, Real Madrid announced the dismissal of manager Rafael Benítez and on the same day, Zidane was appointed the new manager of the club on a two-and-a-half-year deal. While some doubted how he would fare in front of a demanding owner and fan base, the icon soon silenced the critics with his overwhelming success, becoming the first manager to win two and then three consecutive Champions League titles. He also led Real Madrid to two UEFA Super Cups, two FIFA World Club Cups, one Spanish title, and one Spanish Super Cup, before announcing he was stepping down from the post in May 2018.
Following some poor results for Real Madrid in the months following Zidane’s departure – culminating in elimination from the Copa del Rey’s semi-final stage at home to Barcelona, a league loss to the same opponent at the same venue which opened up a 12-point gap between the clubs, and an unexpected home 4–1 defeat to Ajax in the Champions League which brought the long run of success in that competition to an end, all within the space of a week – his former teammate Santiago Solari was dismissed and Zidane returned as the Real Madrid head coach on 11 March 2019, on a contract until summer 2022.
Zinedine Zidane Awards & Achievements
- Zidane was honored with the FIFA World Player of the Year award thrice in 1998, 2000, and 2003. Alongside this, he even won the FIFA World Cup Final Man of the Match awards, FIFA 100 Greatest Living Footballers award, and FIFAWorld Cup Golden Ball. He was even a part of the team which won the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team and FIFA World Cup Dream Team.
- Zidane won the Ballon d’Or, European Player of the Year award once in 1998.
- He remains one of a handful of greats to win both the FIFA World Player of the Year/Ballon d’Or award.
- Zidane won the French Player of the Year award twice: in 1998 and 2002.
Zinedine Zidane Personal Life
Zinedine Zidane is a married man, he met his future wife Veronique Fernandez while he was playing for Cannes, at the age of 17. The couple dated for several years and finally tied their knots on May 28, 1994. They have four children all sons: Enzo Alan Zidane Fernandez born on 24 March 1995, Luca Zinedine Zidane Fernandez born on 13 May 1998, Theo Zidane Fernandez born on 18 May 2002, and Elyaz Zidane Fernández born on 26 December 2005. All his sons are playing football; Enzo plays as a midfielder for Deportivo Alaves, Luca is a third-choice goalkeeper for Real Madrid, Theo plays as a midfielder in Cadete A, and Elyaz too a midfielder in Infantil B for Real Madrid Academy.
Zinedine Zidane Charity activities
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 was paid for the building of two schools and 16 three-bedroom houses.
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. Some proceeds were given to UNICEF.
On 6 June 2010, Zidane took part in the biennial charity event Soccer Aid. He played for the Rest of the World team.
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. Part of a team that included the likes of Figo, Fernando Redondo, and Manolo Sanchís, the fixture raised funds for the Manchester United Foundation. The 12th Match against Poverty took place in Saint-Étienne, France on Monday 20 April 2015, where Ronaldo and Zidane teamed up with other football stars against past and present players of the French Ligue 1 club AS Saint-Étienne. According to UNDP, “two-thirds of all proceeds will go towards helping the hardest-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone build back better from the Ebola epidemic.
Zinedine Zidane Personal Quotes
- “Life is full of regrets, but it doesn’t pay to look back.”
- “If you are determined and confident, there is nothing in this great existence that can stop you from achieving what you want.”
- “Sometimes words are harder than blows.”
- “Ronaldinho is a special player, but Thierry Henry is probably technically the most gifted footballer ever to play the beautiful game.”
- “Real Madrid is the most important thing that happened to me, both as a footballer and as a person.”
- “Every day I think about where I come from and I am still proud to be who I am: first, a Kabyle from La Castellane, then an Algerian from Marseille, and then a Frenchman.”
- “It doesn’t matter how many times you win an award, it is always very special.”
- “I don’t know if we are the best team in the world. I am lucky to be playing alongside some of the best players around. It’s a dream.”
- “We must not let ourselves get driven off course, no matter what happens we must stick to our natural game.”
- “I may have had a lot of luck in my life, but I still need to find a challenge in the game.”
- “I once cried because I had no shoes to play soccer, but one day, I met a man who had no feet.”
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