Zinedine Zidane is today seen as a futbol legend. Though of course, it wasn’t always like this. This is the story of Zidane.
Zinedine Zidane’s professional career began when he was spotted by a AS Cannes scout at the young age of 14.
Origionally Zidane was only going to stay with the club for six weeks, however he ended up staying with Cannes for four years to play at the professional level. Do to the extending stay he was able to stay with his family rather then live in the dorm with the other trainees.
At Cannes Zinedine Zidane’s problem with anger was first discovered. Two things seen as possible ways of getting him angry was to insult either his family or race. They discovered this after he punched a teamate who had mocked his ghetto orgins. As a punishement, they made Zidane spend a few weeks on cleaning duty. Throughout his career, Zidane would occasionaly showcase violence often due to his orgins as a Algerian-Frencheman who grew up in a tough neighborhood. He also got angered easily when insults came in about his family. So, occasionally other showings of violence occured due to insults about his family.
Zinedine Zidane made his professional debut at the young age 16 with Cannes on May 18th, 1889. Though get his first goal for the club until February 10th, 1991. As a reward he was given a car–he was promised one the day he scored his first goal by the club–. Even though he was young Zidane showed amazing potential as his technique was quite brilliant. Zidane’s first full season with Cannes saw the club secure their first ever European football berth as they qualified for the UEFA Cup thanks to their 4th place finnish. They hadn’t had this good of a finnish in the top league since they were first relegated from the firstd division in the 1948–1949 season.
During the 1992–1993 season, Zidane was transferred by AS Cannes to Bordeaux. Within his four years with Bordeaux, Zinedine Zidane won the 1995 Intertoto Cup and finished 2nd in the UEFA Cup in 1995-1996–only losing to Bayern Munich–. For his performance he recieved the 1996, Ligue 1 Player of the Year award.
During this time the look for the club who would aquire Zidane was on. Early on it seemed as if he would go to the Blackburn Rovers. The reason being that their manager, Kenny Dalglish, had expressed interest in him. However the team owner, Jack Walker, said the infamous statement of, “Why do you want to sign Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?”. This mistake has costed the Rovers dearly. Bordeaux also offered him to Newcastle United for £1.2 million, however they too turned down the offer. As they weren’t sure if he was English First Division ready.
Zinedine Zidane had a string of outstanging performences for his club along with with for his country. This attracted the interest of many of Europe’s top clubs. After fielding many offers Zidane decided to accept the offer by the UEFA Champions League winner, Juventus.
In 1996, Zidane took part in his first Euro. His performance wasn’t all that great though he still saw France succeed, as they made it to the final 4.
Zinedine Zidane helped Juventus out almost immediantly. With him they won the 1996-1997 Serie A title, along with the 1996 Intercontinential Cup. Though they didn’t achieve complete success. For example, while they made it to the 1997 Champions League Finals, they didn’t win–they lost 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund.
The following season they once again won the Serie A title. They also once again made it to the Champions League Finals, though once again lost. Though this year saw once of the biggest events for Zinedine Zidane. For he was named the 1998 FIFA World Player of the Year award, along with the Ballon d’Or.
1998 saw Zidane play in his first ever World Cup. Coincidently it was being held in his country of France. Despite not scoring until the finals, Zinedine Zidane was a huge part of France’s success. In the final against Brazil, he was able to break his score-less streak as he scored off of two headers. France ended up winning, giving the country their first ever World Cup win. For his contribution, Zidane became a national hero.
By the year 2000, it was time for another Euro. Unlike 1996, France won this one. Zidane played very well, and was awarded Player of the Tournament by UEFA. Meaning France now had both the World Cup, and the Euro at the same time.
The 2000-2001 season wasn’t Juventus’ strongest. They finnished 2nd meaning for the 3rd year in a row, Juventus wasn’t the Serie A winner–1998-1999 season winner was AC Milan, 1999-2000 winner was Lazio Roma, and 2000-2001 winner was Roma–. Despite not winning Serie A again, Zidane still got the honor of Serie A Foreign Player of the Year. They also got eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League after Zidane was given a red card for head-butting a player.
If you are interested in what happened during the rest of his career then keep on the look for part 2 which will resolve his career as a player. Part 3 will focus on his time as a manager.
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