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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Zinedine Zidane: world class plus!

On Tuesday, one of the world's best ever footballers announced that he will retire after this summer's World Cup.

Zinedine Zidane combined power and grace like no one else. He made fantastic football look beautiful and amazingly simple.

I will always remember Euro 2000 when he was at the absolute height of his game and produced a string of great performances that I can't recall any other footballer in my time ever achieving. In particular, I remember being in Holland with some good friends of mine (including two EFT colleagues) when I watched the semi-final between France and Portugal and saw one of the individual performance of all time by Zizou. It was truly awesome.

And, of course, who can forget one of the best moments in recent football history: Zidane's left-footed swivel volley against Bayer Leverkusen to open the scoring in the 2002 Champions League Final.

I liked the fact that THE BEST IN THE WORLD was of North African origin when this area of the world is not renowned for producing top footballers. I also liked the fact that he was a sportsman in every sense- a true role-model to emulate.

In the last couple of years he has not been able to sustain his 'world's best' status because he has a lost a couple of yards in pace- which is natural for a players in his thirties. Because of this I want to remind readers of what he was like at his absolute peak. If you have a couple of minutes to spare check out the following two video's of Zidane at his best.

The first features the best of Zidane from his career with Bordeaux (when he still had all his hair!), Juventus, Madrid and France (including that match against Portugal).

The second features more magic moments from Zizou, a cool soundtrack, and the classy Barry Davies saying 'Zinedine Zidane' in a way that no commentator could equal today. Even if you were not a fan of Zidane (can't believe it if you weren't) it's worth watching alone for this!


Blogger RedsMan said...

Simply an exquisite tribute to an exquisite player. I liked both clips, thank you T, though I liked the first one more for the words of Coldplay, "no one said it'd be easy", because it made some of Zidane's performances looked easy but in reality takes a lot out of a player to produce that almost every time. Great player, just simply one that is worth admission fee alone. Passing, heading, skill, goals (and how) and what I think is his major quality, control. One of those clips shows him jumping mid-air and stretching out his right foot to touch from going out. I've seen him do that again in the middle of the pitch and come down with poise, still with the ball. Superb player with has achieved tremendously, I hope such talent can be borne elsewhere for us to see and look in awe again.


4/29/2006 2:01 pm

Blogger SKG said...

zidane will go down in footballing history as one of the true greats. i hope he still has something left in the tank for the world cup because it would be great to see him sparkle just one more time.

thanks T for a great tribute.

4/29/2006 11:09 pm

Anonymous Nturtle said...

Thanks for this piece T. I've never liked Zidane...but of course I have to admire his skills. Good to see that he DID at some point have hair!

Thanks for putting this together!

4/30/2006 11:48 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

When I said I hoped for someone else to begin where Zidane leaves off, I remember when Houllier said Bruno Cheyrou was the next Zidane. Had the potential, damned if I know where the rest went! But it is in itself a tall order to follow. What was it about him you didn't like, nturtle?


4/30/2006 6:52 pm

Blogger T said...

I think Houllier must have meant that he looks like Zidane! :)

Thanks guys for your comments, I enjoyed putting this piece together.

Redsman, I like it that you point out the mid-air control from Zidane in the first video- that piece of skill alone says it all about the magic of Zidane!

SKG, I agree that it would be really good to Zidane go out of the professional game in the World Cup with some great performances. Just like when Sampras won the US Open in one of his last tournaments, or when Bergkamp put in an outstanding performance in a losing match against Man Utd last Feb- there's always something special for me to see legend's putting in great performances in the closing moments of their career.

4/30/2006 7:17 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey T thanks for the video. can you tell us what is the background music on the second one? the french song...thanks..i will miss Zizou

5/01/2006 8:04 pm

Blogger T said...

Thanks anon. The track is by jean louis aubert, and is called "je revais d'un autre monde".

5/02/2006 6:43 pm


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