|FULL NAME||Zinedine Yazid Zidane|
|BORN||June 23, 1972|
|HEIGHT||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|RELATION(S)||Véronique Fernández (Spouse)|
Zinedine Yazid Zidane, often known as “Zizou,” is a former professional French footballer who spent much of his career as an offensive midfielder for France’s younger levels and then the core national team. He has represented clubs such as Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus, and Real Madrid, winning trophies for each of them.
His grace, quickness, and outstanding ball control made him one of the finest players of his day.
For his outstanding achievements, he has been awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government and the National Order of Merit by the Algerian government.
Zidane was born in Algeria on June 23, 1972, but grew up in Marseille, France. At the age of nine, he began playing for the local club, US Saint Henri. He moved to another club, SO Septemes-les-Vallons, in 1983 and spent three years in their junior system. He was then chosen for another three years by the Cannes youth academy.
In 1989, Zizou signed his first professional deal with Cannes and made his debut against Nantes in the French first division. After finishing fourth in the league in his first full season with Cannes, the club earned its first ever European football spot by qualifying for the UEFA Cup. In his first three seasons with the club, he made 61 appearances and scored six goals.
Zidane joined Bordeaux in 1992, and it was there that he first gained worldwide prominence. His happy moments with the club included winning the 1995 Intertoto Cup after defeating Karlsruhe and coming runner-up in the 1995-96 UEFA Cup against Bayern Munich. For Bordeaux, he appeared in 139 games and scored 28 goals.
In 1996, Zidane signed a five-year contract with Juventus, the UEFA champion at the time. Zidane’s influence on the Italian club was immediate, as he played a key role in the team’s Serie A title and Intercontinental Cup victories in 1996. He scored seven goals in 32 games, and the team went on to win the Serie A title the following season. During his time with the club, he appeared in 151 games and scored 24 goals. He was selected Serie A’s Foreign Footballer of the Year on two occasions.
In 2001, Zidane signed a four-year deal with Real Madrid for a world record fee of 150 billion Italian lire. Zidane struck the historic match-winning shot against Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final in his debut season. The triumphant journey continued the next season, with Madrid winning La-Liga 2003.
He was named the finest European footballer in the history of UEFA in 2004. He scored his first hat-trick against Sevilla in 2006, and finished the season as the season’s second-highest goal scorer, trailing only Ronaldo.
In 1988, Zidane made his international debut for France’s U17 team. He was a prolific scorer, scoring once in each of the four games he appeared in. He continued to play for the minor national teams until 1994, earning his first cap for France in a friendly against the Czech Republic on August 17, 1994. In his first encounter, he scored two goals in a 2-2 tie.
Since his early days, Zidane has been remarkable. In the Euro Cup semifinals and quarterfinals in 1996, he scored in both penalty shootouts. However, it was only after his two goals in the 3-2 triumph over the then-champions Brazil in the 1998 FIFA World Cup that he became a famous national hero.
He was named Player of the Tournament after making a significant impact to France’s win in the Euro Cup in 2000. In the FIFA World Cups of 2002, 2006, and 2004, Zidane was the backbone of the French team.
In 2006, he played his final professional match for Real Madrid against Villarreal. In his farewell match, he scored in a 3-3 tie.
The final of the FIFA 2006 World Cup was his last international match. In the seventh minute of the game, he scored a goal to put France in the lead. However, following his notorious headbutt on Marco Materazzi, he was given a red card, and France lost the penalty shootout against Italy 5-3.
Zidane was appointed as the coach of Real Madrid’s B club, Real Madrid Castilla, for a two-year period in June 2014.
In 2016, he was given a more difficult task: managing Real Madrid. Madrid set a new record by winning the La Liga 16 times in a row under his reign. He also guided the squad to victories in the UEFA Championships in 2016 and 2017, the FIFA Club World Cup in 2016, and the UEFA Super Cup in 2017. In 2017, he was named the Best FIFA Men’s Coach.