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!