Zinedine "Zizou" Zidane : The Football Maestro

Zinedine Yazid Zidane  was born 23 June 1972 in Marseille to Smaïl and Malika, both Algerians of Kabyle descent. His parents emigrated to Paris from Algeria in 1953 from the village of Aguemone in the Kabylie region of Algeria. They moved to Marseille a few years later, where Zidane was born. Zidane describes himself as a practicing Muslim.

Zidane joined the junior team of US Saint-Henri, a local club in the La Castellane district of Marseille. At the age of 14, he participated in the first-year junior selection for the league championship, where he caught the attention of AS Cannes scout Jean Varraud. He went to Cannes for a six-week stay, but ended up remaining at the club for four years to play at the professional level. Zidane played his first Ligue 1 match at seventeen, and scored his first goal on 8 February 1991, for which he received a car as a gift from the team president. His first season with Cannes culminated in a UEFA Cup berth.

Zidane was transferred to Girondins de Bordeaux in the 1992–93 season, winning the 1995 Intertoto Cup and finishing runner-up in the 1995–96 UEFA Cup in four years with the club. He played a set of midfield combinations with Bixente Lizarazu and Christophe Dugarry, which would become the trademark of both Bordeaux and the 1998 French national team. In 1995, Blackburn Rovers coach Ray Harford had expressed interest in signing both Zidane and Dugarry, to which team owner Jack Walker reportedly replied, "Why do you want to sign Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?."

In 1996, Zidane moved to Champions League winners Juventus for a fee of £3.2 million and won the 1996–97 Scudetto and the Intercontinental Cup, but lost the 1997 UEFA Champions League final 3–1 to Borussia Dortmund. He netted seven goals in 32 matches to help Juventus retain the Scudetto the next season and make their third consecutive UEFA Champions League final appearance, losing 1-0 to Real Madrid which would be his next destination. Juventus were runners-up in 2000–01, but were eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League, during which Zidane was sent off for headbutting Hamburger SV player Jochen Kientz.

In 2001, Zidane joined Real Madrid for a then world record fee of 150 billion Italian lire (about €70.5 million) and signed a four-year contract. He scored a famous match-winning goal, a volley hit with his weaker foot, in Madrid's 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final completing this personal quadruple. The next season, Zidane helped Real Madrid to win the Spanish league title and was named the FIFA World Player of the Year for the third time. In 2004, fans voted him as the best European footballer of the previous 50 years in UEFA's fiftieth-anniversary Golden Jubilee Poll.

Despite scoring his first-ever hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Sevilla, Zidane's final season of club football ended trophyless. On 7 May 2006, Zidane, who had announced his plans to retire after the 2006 World Cup, played his last home match and scored in a 3-3 draw with Villarreal CF. The squad wore commemorative jerseys with ZIDANE 2001–2006 below the club logo. [source : Zidane]

Zinedine Zidane Pictures and Wallpapers

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