How old was zidane when he retired

Which footballers retired too early?

By Jon Radcliffe

We look at the stars who hung up their boots prematurely.

The average age of retirement in football is 35.

By that point, players' best days are usually behind them. There are exceptions, of course, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic the obvious examples but, generally, the mid-thirties age bracket is the best time to call it a day.

Some, though, decide to hang up their boots far earlier for a whole host of reasons, including some of the biggest names in the game's history.

Here, we delve into some of those who walked away from the sport early.

Eric Cantona

While the Class of '92 was the foundation for Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United revolution, Cantona was its leader. The Frenchman had struggled to find a home throughout a turbulent career, and his France career was in tatters by the time he arrived at Old Trafford in 1992.

Over the next five years, Cantona inspired United to four Premier League titles, cementing his legacy as one of English football's best imports. After the last of those league wins in 1997, however, the forward hung up his boots aged just 30. That was not the last we saw of him, though – he has since forged out a relatively successful acting career and won a Beach Soccer World Cup with France to boot.

Marco van Basten

During the 1980s and early 90s, van Basten was one of the most formidable strikers on the planet, scoring 282 goals in just 379 club games for Ajax and AC Milan.

That form saw him win the Ballon d'Or on three occasions, while his goals fired the Netherlands to the 1988 European Championship title, their first and only international trophy. Unfortunately, he struggled with an ankle injury, which required three surgeries. The last came after an aggressive tackle from Basile Boli in the 1993 Champions League final – he never played for the Rossoneri again and retired aged 31.

Hidetoshi Nakata

Nakata finished his career at Bolton, but in the late 90s and early 00s, he was arguably the best Asian player on the planet.

The Japan international shone primarily in Serie A with Perugia, Parma, and AS Roma, while he also featured in all four of his country's matches as they hosted the 2002 World Cup along with South Korea. Aged just 29 in 2006, however, Nakata revealed he no longer enjoyed football and wanted to do something else with his time. His next passion proved to be fashion, and he can regularly be seen attending runway shows.

Carlos Roa

Goalkeeper Roa was Argentina's first-choice between the sticks at the 1998 World Cup and was in the middle of a successful stint at RCD Mallorca.


However, in 1999, the Santa Fe native responded to the call of a higher power, hanging up his gloves to devote himself to religion. A Seventh-day Adventist, Roa refused to discuss a new contract with Mallorca as he believed the end of the world was nigh. The Spanish outfit did not take his decision too lightly, though, and Roa was eventually forced to return to the club to see out the remainder of his contract, although he failed to retrieve his previous form. A move to Albacete Balompie was also cut short when Roa was diagnosed with testicular cancer, forcing him to retire one more.

He recovered, and returned the game for one final season with Olimpo before calling time on his career for the third and final time.

Michel Platini

Younger fans will only know Platini as a corrupt former UEFA president, but he was one of the best players on the planet back in his heyday.

A three-time Ballon d'Or winner, all in consecutive years, the Frenchman won all there was to win at club level and scored nine goals in five matches as France triumphed at Euro 84 on home soil. Just three years later, though, the former Juventus and St. Etienne playmaker retired at the age of just 32, although he did make a brief foray back into the game – for one day, to be exact – to represent Kuwait against the Soviet Union in an international friendly in 1988.

Brian Laudrup

Denmark's Euro 92 win sent shockwaves across Europe, but anything is possible when you have talents such as Laudrup in the squad.

Along with brother Michael, who missed out on that international success, Brian remains one of his country's greatest exports, having appeared for the likes of Bayern Munich, Fiorentina, AC Milan, Rangers and Chelsea. Unfortunately, injuries wreaked havoc on his body and thwarted his ability during what should have been his prime years. After short spells with FC Copenhagen and Ajax, Laudrup retired at 31 in 2000.

Patrick Kluivert

Kluivert was just 18 years of age when he scored the winner for Ajax in a 1-0 victory over Juventus in the 1995 Champions League final.

After shining at the Eredivise outfit with a whole host of other up-and-coming stars, the striker moved to AC Milan, then Barcelona, where he thrived, scoring at least 15 goals in six straight La Liga campaigns. Also, until Robin van Persie broke his record in 2013, he was the Netherlands' all-time leading scorer with 40 goals. Following his departure from Barca, though, he went through four clubs in four years, with Lille the last stop of his career in 2008, aged 32.

Just Fontaine

While Miroslav Klose's record of 16 career World Cup goals is accessible, if challenging to attain, surely no one will beat Fontaine's 13 strikes at a single edition of the tournament.

Football Terrace DEBATE: Will Chelsea's strikers cost them the Premier League title?

The 1958 World Cup in Sweden was undoubtedly his crowning glory, with his goals coming in just six outings, but the Frenchman was deadly in front of goal throughout his career, scoring 165 goals in 200 Ligue 1 matches. However, aged just 28 in 1962, Fontaine was forced to retire with a recurring injury, marking the end of a true great's career.

Pierluigi Casiraghi

Casiraghi enjoyed successful spells with Juventus and Lazio in his homeland before making the multi-million pound move to Chelsea.

He was one of several Italians at Stamford Bridge at the time, and there was hope he could fire the Blues to silverware. However, disaster struck in a clash with West Ham in November 1998, when he collided with goalkeeper Shaka Hislop and suffered a cruciate ligament injury. That was the last game he ever played, despite going through ten operations as he attempted to recover. His contract with the Blues was terminated in 2000, when Casiraghi was 28, with him having managed just one goal in ten outings.

George Best

At the peak of his powers, Best was one of the greatest players on the planet. At his worst, his off-the-field problems overshadowed the talent that he possessed.

The Northern Ireland international helped Manchester United win the European Cup in 1968, and scored 179 goals in 410 games for the Red Devils. He even won the Ballon d'Or the year of United's continental success, but his and the team's decline started in the aftermath. Best was consumed by alcoholism by the time he retired, for a second time, in 1974 aged 28.

Best did return to the sport after just 12 months but never found his previous level, although he retired for good a whole nine years later. Sadly, Best passed away in 2005.

Alan Shearer (international)

Considering Shearer did not finish his club career until he was 35, his international retirement six years earlier, in hindsight, looks premature.

The striker was prolific for England, scoring 30 times in 63 caps, and netted in three international tournaments. His best moments came at Euro 96, where he scored four times but, following the next edition four years later, he chose to hang up his Three Lions boots even though he still had plenty to offer. There was speculation he would make himself available for the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, but that proved to be unfounded.

Zinedine Zidane

Zidane was 34 by the time he retired after the 2006 World Cup, which is a good age to do so. However, his performances at the tournament suggested he had plenty more left in the tank.

The France playmaker was at his irresistible best throughout the tournament as Les Bleus reached the final. It was meant to be the perfect end to Zidane's illustrious career, but it turned into a nightmare when he headbutted Marco Materazzi in injury time and was sent off of a result. Italy prevailed on penalties, with Zidane's final match, therefore, ending in disgrace and defeat.

Despite his actions, he was awarded the Golden Ball for the tournament's best player the following day. Given all he achieved in the game, it was a shame his career ended in such controversy – his legacy deserved more than that.

Related Topics

  • Football
  • Alan Shearer
  • Eric Cantona
  • Zinedine Zidane

About The Author

Writer covering football for GiveMeSport. Chelsea fan.

25 Footballers Who Retired Too Early | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

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Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37Twitter LogoWorld Football Lead WriterFebruary 3, 2012

25 Footballers Who Retired Too Early

0 of 25

    Some players stick around too long. Some are gone too soon. Sometimes, there's a list with a little of both.

    This is that list.

    Today, we're bringing you a list of 25 footballers who retired too soon. It sounds simple enough, but as you'll see, retirement doesn't always mean what it sounds like.

    Confused? Then let's get to the list.

Eric Cantona

1 of 25

    French midfielder Eric Cantona retired in 1997 at age 30 while still at the absolute height of his game.

    Besides a boring ol' legacy of general greatness, he also left behind a string of head-scratching quotes, a hard-won reputation for occasional insanity and the coolest piece of football fashion since Adidas unveiled their three stripes.

    Cantona could have kept it up for at least five more years, or maybe even longer in the lower leagues. But instead, he left with four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and one FWA Player of the Year award.

George Best (First Time)

2 of 25

    Manchester United and Northern Ireland legend George Best gave up football the first time in 1974, just before his 28th birthday. He left after making 470 appearances for Manchester United, winning the league title twice, the European Cup once and the Ballon d'Or as Europe's best player in 1968.

    Best made a few comebacks and even turned some heads while playing in the NASL, but he wasn't ever the same again.

Zinedine Zidane

3 of 25

    Zinedine Zidane retired in 2006, aged 34, right after…well, you know.

    That was an awful way for the best French footballer of his generation to go out. Zidane should have returned for one more season, just to make things right.

    Still, Zidane won the World Cup 1998 and Euro 2000 with France, the Ballon d'Or in 1998 and the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times.

Just Fontaine

4 of 25

    Zidane wasn't the only French legend to retire young. Just Fontaine quit football in 1962, one month short of his 29th birthday.

    Injuries forced Fontaine out, but not before he secured his legendary status with 13 goals at the 1958 World Cup.

Pele (First Time)

5 of 25

    We can already hear your heads exploding. Yes, we know Pele played with the New York Cosmos until he was almost 37.

    But we're talking about his Santos career, which he ended in 1974 after more than 600 goals.

    Besides, Pele is the best player of all time. He could have played until he was 80 (only eight more years to go) if he wanted to.

    And everyone would've been fine with it.

Marco Van Basten

6 of 25

    Marco Van Basten was another casualty of injuries. The Dutch master retired in 1995 at age 31 after spending two years on the sidelines with a bum ankle.

    Before he left, he graced us with this goal in the Netherlands' victory over the USSR in the Euro 1988 final.

Carlos Roa

7 of 25

    Goalkeeper Carlos Roa conceded exactly zero goals during the goal stage of the 1998 World Cup and played a starring role in Argentina's penalty-shootout win over England in the knockout phase.

    A year later, he retired from football to devote himself to his religion. He was only 29.

Alan Shearer (International)

8 of 25

    Speaking of England, Alan Shearer retired from the national team at age 29—right after England's disastrous performance at Euro 2000.

    It's a shame, too, because England really could have used him over the next few years. Shearer kept playing professionally until 2006, but he never again featured for the Three Lions.

Jamie Carragher (International)

9 of 25

    Here's another entry from the early-international-retirement files. Liverpool's Jamie Carragher quit England in 2007, aged 29.

    Then, he returned to the team for the 2010 World Cup.

    Make up your mind, dude.

Stanley Matthews

10 of 25

    What? Retire at 50? Pshaw.

    Stanley Matthews needed to man up. He easily could've made it to 60.

Paul Scholes (First Time)

11 of 25

    Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes retired in 2011 at age 36. Everything seemed fine. He even got a testimonial match out of it.

    But no. He came back last month as an emergency signing by United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Hidetoshi Nakata

12 of 25

    Japanese midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata retired in 2006 at age 29.

    He has since gone onto a career in modeling.

Lothar Matthäus (Yes, Really)

13 of 25

    What? He was, like, 40, Mike! Are you crazy?

    Actually, Lothar Matthäus was 39 when he retired in 2000 as a member of the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now the Red Bulls). But clearly, the 39-year-old version of Matthäus could still play. After all, he was named German Footballer of the Year in 1999 and featured for Germany at Euro 2000.

    Honestly, we think he could have played another two or three years. Heck, he could probably school Arsenal’s defense if he lined up against them tomorrow.

Emmanuel Petit

14 of 25

    Emmanuel Petit retired in 2004, aged 33, after winning the World Cup with France in 1998 and the double with Arsenal the same year.

    Unrelated story: Petit once won £17,000 playing the slots in Monte Carlo.

Michel Platini

15 of 25

    Michel Platini was yet another French star who retired young.

    After winning Euro 1984 with France and earning the Ballon d'Or three straight times between 1983 and 1985, he retired in June 1987, the same month he turned 32.

Kevin Keegan

16 of 25

    Kevin Keegan retired in 1984 at age 33.

    And it wasn't like he couldn't score anymore. In his last two seasons (admittedly in the Second Division with Newcastle), he scored 48 goals.

Brian Laudrup

17 of 25

    Brian Laudrup and his brother, Michael, were both named to the FIFA 100 list in 2004. They also both helped Denmark to its shock triumph at Euro 1992.

    If you can't remember who is who, try this. Brian is the one who had to retire early—aged 31 in 2000.

Didier Deschamps

18 of 25

    Famously derided as a "water carrier" by his fellow early retiree, Eric Cantona, Didier Deschamps captained France to the 1998 World Cup title.

    Then, he retired in 2001 at age 32.

Jurgen Klinsmann

19 of 25

    These days, Jurgen Klinsmann is the head coach of the United States Men's National Team. And we love him for it.

    Back in the day, he was a pretty awesome player, too. He retired in 1998 at age 33.

    Probably so he could study up on his managerial skills.

Patrick Kluivert

20 of 25

    Patrick Kluivert burst onto the scene as a teenager, scoring the winner in the Champions League final as an 18-year-old with Ajax in 1995.

    His later years weren't so great, and he retired in 2008 at 31.

Frank Rijkaard

21 of 25

    Frank Rijkaard was also a member of that 1995 Champions League-winning Ajax team. But the 1995 final was his final match.

    He was 32 at the time.

Zbigniew Boniek

22 of 25

    The lone Polish representative on the FIFA 100 list, Zbigniew Boniek led his country to a third-place finish at the 1982 World Cup. He also won the European Cup with Juventus in 1985.

    He retired three years later at age 33.

Mia Hamm

23 of 25

    When Mia Hamm retired in 2004 at age 32, she had won two World Cups, two Olympic golds and four NCAA national championships. In 275 games with the United States Women's National Team, she had scored an astounding 158 goals.

    We can't think of anyone—besides opposing defenders—who was happy to see her quit.

Sam Hutchinson (First Time)

24 of 25

    Poor Sam Hutchinson. Injuries forced the English defender to retire in 2010 at age 21.

    He made an inspirational comeback earlier this season, but still hasn't appeared in a first-team match.

Colin Lee

25 of 25

    Who is Colin Lee?

    Lee is an Englishman who, at 72 years old, is Britain's oldest amateur footballer. At least that's what British newspaper Metro claims.

    We don't know when or if Mr. Lee ever played organized football. But considering the fact that he still plays at the age of 72, it's pretty clear that he retired too early.

    Somebody sign this guy up.

Zinedine Zidane - biography, news, photos, personal life, footballer, Real Madrid coach, nationality, kick 2023

Football attracts thousands and thousands of fans to the stands, ready to follow their idols everywhere. Zinedine Zidane is undoubtedly one of those icons. A brutal handsome man with a Hollywood smile and a steely look made a career of one of the best football players over the past half century and declared himself as an equally brilliant coach.

Childhood and youth

On June 23, 1972, Algerian store worker Zidane Smail and housewife Maliki had their fifth child, a son. The boy was given the name Zinedine, which translates as "beauty of faith" (full name - Zinedine Yazid). By the time the youngest appeared, the Zidans had a daughter, Lila, and sons, Nordin, Jamel and Farid. The football player's parents are cousins.

The Zidanes first lived in the northern region of Algeria - Kabylie. Later, when the war of independence broke out, the family moved to Marseille, and Zinedine was born in France. No wonder the public calls Zidane a Frenchman, but the football player himself did not forget who he was by nationality, and therefore retained the citizenship of his ethnic homeland.

Like many ball game stars, Zidane's sporting biography originates in backyard games. At school, the boy had an average performance, in addition to football, he rode a skateboard, a bicycle, and earned a green belt in judo. Very soon, the success of a capable boy was talked about in the near-football community. The work of 10-year-old Zinedine was rewarded with a special license, which made it possible to try his luck in the professional league.

Zidane's first experience of serious play was at Saint-Henri and Septème-le-Vallon. At the age of 14, one of the football institutions under the control of the French Football Federation drew attention to Zinedine. The gifted teenager was offered a good education and full support in the youth club of the resort town of Cannes. After 2 years, the athlete appeared in the main team.

And already at that time, experts noted that the football player Zidane was emotionally unstable, even then Zinedine used his trademark headbutt against his opponents, which eventually caused so many problems. Because of this, in his youth, the athlete was not considered when forming the youth teams of France U-19 and U-21.

Football career

The guy's career went uphill in the Bordeaux club, where he ended up at the age of 20. Already in the first season, Zidane scored 10 goals, acquired the status of top scorer in the national championship, and the team secured 4th place and participation in the UEFA Cup.

Technique, the ability to see the field, the accuracy of the passes of the young striker brought a lot of trouble to the opponent. One of the best goals, by Zidane's own admission, was a goal from 40 meters in the quarter-finals of the 1995 UEFA Cup.

In 1996, the athlete interested the owners of the Italian Juventus, who agreed to pay €3 million for the player. With this club, Zinedine began to reap the benefits of fame. In the 5 years he spent with Turin, Zidane scored 37 goals in La Liga and 12 in the Copa del Rey and in Eurocups. His track record includes 2 victories in the Italian championship, the Italian and European Super Cups, the Intercontinental Cup, the title of the best football player in the world.

In parallel, Zizou, as a midfielder and captain, played for the French national team at 3 World Championships (1998, 2002 and 2006) and 3 European Championships (1996, 2000 and 2004). The 1998 World Cup, victorious for France, elevated Zidane to the rank of a national hero. The cost of the player has increased many times over. Advertising offers rained down on the stately (height 187 cm, weight 82 kg), shaved almost bald, with unsmiling eyes. In total, the athlete scored 31 goals for his native team. Only Trezeguet, Henri and Platini are higher in performance.

July 9, 2006, after the World Cup final, Zinedine retired from football. In the final match of the Mundial, Zidane earned a direct removal for heading the player of the Italian national team Marco Materazzi. As the defender later admitted, he insulted the sister of the French athlete, which provoked a fight on the field. Without their star, the French team, alas, failed. This gaming moment remained the highlight of the match, videos, memes, games on this topic appeared on the Web.

Materazzi spoke about the causes of the conflict on the field 10 years later and publicly apologized. Nevertheless, the reputation of a provocateur has been fixed for the Italian. And Zidane, upon returning home, was named the most popular person of the year and, moreover, was awarded the Golden Ball. In any case, after the 2006 World Cup, Zinedine did not continue his playing career.

Algerian sculptor Adel Abdessemed depicted the Frenchman's blow with the Italian defender's forehead in the form of a sculpture in 2012. A 5-meter bronze monument was erected in Doha, the capital of Qatar. But already in 2013, “Headbutt” was removed, because, according to local activists, the image of people is contrary to the norms of Islam.

Versatility, accurate shot from both feet, Zidane's signature feint, heel pass - these are just some of the characteristics and techniques that Zizou owns and is trying to master a new generation of players.

Zidane's move to Real Madrid in 2001 opened a string of record-breaking deals. And although he was later surpassed by Cristiano Ronaldo with €94 million and Neymar with an incredible €222 million, but then Zinedine was a pioneer. The amount of the transfer was €75 million, Zizou’s annual salary at Real Madrid ranged from €5.5 million to €7 million. Ronaldo.

Following the results of the first two years of playing for the Spanish team, the athlete chalked up the victory in the Champions League and the championship of Spain, the Super Cup, the Intercontinental Cup and the European Super Cup.

Coaching career

At the end of his playing career at Real Madrid, Zinedine was offered the position of assistant to President Florentino Pérez. Since 2011, Zidane has been the director of the first team. But the player got bored with the field far from the field, and he entered the University of Limoges to study as a manager.

Zidane's next step as coach was the youth team of Real Madrid and the position of head coach of Real Madrid Castilla. These teams helped Zinedine to probe young players, to study their potential and weaknesses, in order to then use them in the formation of the “base”.

In January 2016, Zidane was appointed head coach of Real Madrid, at a time when the team's performance was on the decline on all fronts. President Perez fully trusted Zinedine in the transfer policy of the same period, which football experts called ideal.

2 victories in the Champions League and the championship of Spain, the same number of UEFA Super Cups refuted the words of skeptics who believed that Zidane could not cope with such an eminent team and titled personalities.

At the edge of the field, Zinedine's intemperance still makes itself felt, but the result is nevertheless positive. The head coach does not like to talk a lot, and the wards have learned to understand him almost by eye movement. The main thing, as Zidane says, is to defend the interests of the club, which the former football player considers the best team of the 20th century and his home.

In 2017, the Creamy, led by Zizou, won the La Liga Cup, the UEFA Champions Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and the Spanish Super Cup. Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo wins the Ballon d'Or for the fifth time. The head of the coaching staff considers the Portuguese the best player in history, and his work on the field is phenomenal. Zidane himself is recognized as the best coach according to FIFA.

According to club president Florentino Pérez, the Frenchman is the cream's greatest symbol and icon, the combination of value and talent needed to lead one of the best squads on the planet. But at the end of 2017, problems fell on Real Madrid - both defeats in meetings and injuries to players. According to rumors, Perez considered the option of firing Zidane if the team was left without awards in the new season.

In May 2018, Real Madrid won the Champions League for the 3rd time in a row, but at the end of the month, Zidane announced that he was stepping down as manager - he was replaced by Santiago Solari.

Already in March 2019, Zinedine again became the head coach of the "creamy" and led the team to victory in the Spanish Super Cup in the 2019/20 season.

Personal life

Zidane is a happy husband and father, in the first place for him is the family, for which Zizu is loved and respected by fans. By religion, he is a Muslim of Kabyle origin. Religion occupies a lot of space in his life - before the games he reads Ayat al-Kursi. But the athlete gave Christian names to his children.

The coach has known his wife Veronica Lentisco-Fernandez since 1989 and has been legally married since 1994. 4 sons grew up in the family, who, of course, look like their father and continue the dynasty: Enzo and Elias are midfielders, Luka is at the gate, Theo plays in attack. All children train in the system of the Real Madrid club. Photos capturing moments from family life are posted on Zidane's Instagram page.

Veronica also grew up in an immigrant environment, she knows well what poverty is. The family spends a lot of time helping those in need. Zidane acts as an organizer and plays in charity matches, helps orphans, sponsors events in his homeland - in Algeria. In addition, Zinedine is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program, a member of the European Association for Combating Leukodystrophy. From numerous interviews with a football star, a set of Rules for the Life of an Athlete has been compiled, one of the points of which reads: “To help people, you do not need a reason.”

Zinedine Zidane now

At the end of 2020, the fight for the Spanish Cup started. But already on January 20, 2021, Real Madrid were knocked out of the competition in the 1/16 finals, losing to Alcoyano, a club from the 3rd division. Zinedine remained at the Madrid club until the end of the season, following which the Real Madrid leadership will decide on further cooperation.

At the beginning of 2021, Zidane came into contact with someone infected with the coronavirus, which forced him to self-isolate. As a result, the test turned out to be negative, which allowed the coach to lead Real Madrid without restrictions.

And in May, the Madrid football club reported that Zidane had decided to leave his post.


  • 1995 – Intertoto Cup Winner
  • 1996/97, 1997/98 – Italian Champion
  • 1996, 2002 – UEFA Super Cup Winner
    • – World Champion 2000 - European Champion
    • 2002/03 - Spanish Champion
    • 2001,2003 -- Spanish Super Cup Winner
    • 2002 -- UEFA Champions League Winner
    • 1998, 2002 - Football Player of the Year in France
    • 1998 - Winner of the Golden Ball prize
    • Included in the symbolic team of the 1998 World Cup according to FIFA
    • Included in the list of the greatest football players of the 20th century according to World Soccer
    • Included in the symbolic team of the European Championship 2000 according to UEFA
    • 1998 - Chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honor
    • 2009 - Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honor

    Interesting facts

    • to the album Body language.
    • In 2006, Zidane: A Portrait of the 21st Century, a documentary by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, was released. Filming was carried out at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium during the meeting between Real Madrid and Villarreal in 2005.
    • In 2008, Zinedine appeared as the ancient football player Zidanis in the film Asterix at the Olympic Games, and he can also be seen in the American animated series Family Guy, which was released in 2006.
    • In 2019, Jean Philippe and Patrick released the book “Zinedine Zidane. Biography". This is not the only work dedicated to the famous athlete - you can learn about the football player from the book by Jean Philippe "The Modest King", Blanche Baptiste and Frei-Burnet Thibaut "Zidane. A God who just wanted to be human”, Besma Lauri “Zidane. Secret Life, etc.
    • Real Madrid's son Zinedine Luca Zidane has decided to join the Algerian national team. Until the age of 17, the goalkeeper played for the French national team, after - for Racing Santander, but in the fall the athlete will make his debut for Algeria in the selection for the World Cup.

    Zidane retired with a red card

    Komsomolskaya Pravda

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    SportSport: FOOTBALL

    11 July 2006 1:00


    If anyone doubted that Zidane is one of the best players in the history of football, after the final - away from doubt! Only an epic hero, a titan, Hercules, could leave like that.

    The heroes of the final match of the World Cup Italy - France, of course, were all the Italians, their coach, fans, who eventually took over the World Cup. But the fan will remember the loser Zidane.

    This will become a legend, and therefore it is worth remembering how it all happened. In the seventh minute, Italian defender Marco Materazzi knocks down Frenchman Malouda. On the replay, however, it is not clear whether Marco knocked down an opponent. Rather not even. But the referee awards a penalty. Zidane approached the ball and hit the crossbar! Fortunately for France, the ball still bounced into the goal - 1:0!

    As you know, this is exactly the score with which, according to statistics, most decisive games end. But 12 minutes after the corner kick, the same Materazzi heads the ball into the net - 1:1!

    It was a great match. And the French in the second half played an order of magnitude stronger. But they couldn't score. And in extra time, the same Materazzi and Zidane played the most dramatic scene of the World Cup.

    109th minute of the game. Marco and Zinedine met in a confrontation at the penalty area. How many of these were for the game! Zidane said something to Materazzi. The Italian replied. Then Marco reinforced his words with additional remarks and went to his penalty area. Zidane followed. Then next. Then he stepped forward a little. Has stopped. He assessed the situation, realizing that neither the main referee, nor even the side referee can see him, since the main events are unfolding elsewhere. Waiting for the Italian. And with all his might, Materazzi hit his head in the chest. The Italian collapsed with a cry. Zidane went further.

    The indignation of the Italian team forced the Argentine referee Elizondo to begin an analysis of an episode that he had never seen before. The Argentinean consulted with the side referee, then listened to Buffon, who came running from his gate. And then ended the career of Zinedine Zidane with a red card.

    An anecdote has already appeared on the Internet - “Everyone in Russia is now worried about only two questions: “Why did Putin kiss the boy on the stomach?” and “What did Materazzi say to Zidane?”

    The president himself has already spoken about the first. About the second ... David Trezeguet, who was not far away, admitted to reporters that he had heard the entire conversation.

    “Zidane had reasons to do so. Marco provoked him by hitting him to the quick.”

    But only three people know the exact quote: Materazzi himself, Zidane and Buffon, to whom Zinedine retold it right on the field. Hearing what Zidane was offended by, the Italian goalkeeper clutched his head and was very sorry that he had given "testimony" against Zizou. After the match, Buffon stated that he would never play with Materazzi on the same team again.

    Pavel SADKOV

    What did Materazzi say to Zidane?

    The whole world is discussing the scandalous dismissal of the captain of the French team

    Few people in France now dare to scold Zidane in the press. Among this minority is Marie-Georges Buffet, former Minister of Youth and Sports, now Secretary of the Communist Party. She announced that she considered Zidane's behavior "inexcusable".

    - And how can we explain to children now that it is impossible to respond with violence to injustice? Marie-Georges lamented naively. But the woman's curiosity still got the better of her, and she added: "I would really like to know what happened."

    Is Zidane a terrorist?

    The whole world is in the same situation today. Zidane's outburst was so absurd that even fans of the Italian team would like to know: WHY? Oddly enough, Materazzi is booed, and Zidane is trying to understand. So far, foreign newspapers and television are sorting out four versions.

    UK: The Independent suggests that Materazzi mentioned Zidane's Algerian origin. Rumors are also mentioned that Materazzi raised the topic of Zidane's guilt in the Juventus doping scandal (before Real Madrid, Zizou played in this Turin club).

    Another English newspaper, The Guardian, suggests that the Italian called the Captain of France a "terrorist".

    On the most rated French TV channel, TF1, the infamous businessman Bernard Tapie (who previously owned the Marseille Olympique) said the following about the content of the insulting phrase for Zidane: “It must be something serious. Most likely, insults to the mother.

    It's just nerves

    The current Minister of Sports in France, Jean-Francois Lamour, confessed to journalists that he has no information on the plot either. “But,” Lamour immediately adds, “we believe that there was a provocation, and Zidane suffered a nervous breakdown.

    Almost the entire French press writes about a nervous breakdown. And sincerely, despite the list of Zidane's previous red cards, he is surprised: wow, he has nerves! - Football perfection, deity, idol - this is just an incomplete list of words that were spoken about Zidane until the last match. After that, with amazement, it sounded: he is a man. He might break. Unfortunately, this happened in the final match of the World Cup.

    Poor Marseille quarter

    And everything ended tragically. Zidane went down to the dressing room without even looking at the Cup. And then he did not rise to the podium for a silver medal. The removed player has no right to appear on the field - this is the regulation.

    True, in 1998, Desailly, who was expelled from the field, was able to come for the “gold”. But the rules have since changed, and the red card for Zidane was the last badge of distinction in his career. Meanwhile, in the most problematic district of Marseille, Castellane, where Zinedine, a descendant of Algerian emigrants, was born, disappointed fans watched the match. Some of them, distracted from the sad spectacle, said to a journalist of one of the French newspapers: “Yes, we lost. But it was this header that showed - Zidane from Castellane. He is still ours."

    I think President Chirac could not have expressed more respect for Zidane when he shook hands with the football player at the Elysee Palace yesterday.

    Valentina LVOVA


    Raymond Domenech, French coach: "We do not forgive, but we understand." Trezeguet: "Ziz can leave with his head held high. And Materazzi, even if he wins the World Cup, cannot. There is more than just football in life."

    Malouda: “He has given so much to French football and his talent is so huge... It often happens that great players are provoked all the time and there is often a backlash. But I can say that none of us is angry with him. He remains a great knight of football."

    Thierry Henry: “We won together and we lost together. That's what you need to remember."

    Jacques Chirac, President of France, to Zinedine Zidane: “I want to express to you, at this most brutal moment of your career, the adoration and respect of the entire nation. You are a virtuoso genius of world football, but you are also a man with a heart.”


    Zinedine ZIDAN , midfielder of the French national team and Real Madrid (Spain). Born on 06/23/1972, height - 185 cm, weight - 78 kg. He played 108 matches for the national team and scored 31 goals. Former clubs: 1988 - 1992 - Cannes (France), 1992 - 1996 - Bordeaux (France), 1996 - 2001 - Juventus (Italy). Achievements: world champion (1998) and Europe (2000), finalist of the World Cup (2006), best player in the world (1998, 2000, 2003), winner of the Champions League (2002). Winner of the Intercontinental Cup (2002).


    Zinedine is still the best

    The main heroes of the championship are named

    Zinedine Zidane became the best player of the 2006 World Cup. Accredited journalists participated in the voting, and it took place even before the start of the final match. So Zidane's red card and his fatal act had no effect on the final result. The silver ball went to Italian Fabio Cannavaro, and the bronze went to his compatriot Andrea Pirlo. The Lev Yashin Prize for the best goalkeeper of the championship was received by the goalkeeper of the Italian national team Gianluigi Buffon. Germany's Miroslav Klose was the top scorer with five goals scored. And the prize for the best young player was won by another striker of the German national team Lukasz Podolski.


    By scoring a penalty against Italy, Zidane became the fourth player in history to score goals in two World Cup finals - after Pelé, Vav and Paul Breitner. The captain of the French national team became a co-author of another achievement. Having converted a penalty in the 7th minute, Zidane scored his third goal in the World Cup finals (he scored two goals in the 98 World Cup final against Brazil). Thus, he repeated the achievement of the Brazilians Pele and Vava, as well as the Englishman Hurst. Having received the same red card, Zidane also became the fourth in the quartet removed from the field in the final matches of the world championships. By the way, the last exile was also a Frenchman - Marcel Desailly at 1998 year.


    In the homeland of champions, Zidane's deed is preferred not to be discussed. Explanations with references to the English newspaper "The Guardian" about the offensive word "terrorist", which sounded from the lips of Materazzi, are perhaps all that the most truth-loving publications allow themselves. The vast majority of Italians believe that the winner is not judged, and therefore, the defender of the Azzurra could not be guilty under any circumstances. Moreover, in the Italian media there is an insult to Zizu, who did not come out to congratulate his rivals on an honestly won victory. “Players of this level have no right to do so, let alone end their careers,” the Stampa newspaper expresses the general opinion.

    Evgeny BELIKOV (Our own correspondent) Rome.


    Zeck decided to escape

    The incident occurred on the island of Sardinia.

    38-year-old gangster and rapist Roberto Loy, while the guards of the Alghero prison were watching the final on TV, broke free. The fugitive was supposed to sit until 2016. Until he was found.

    This is not the first time this has happened. 4 years ago, 17 prisoners from one of the prisons in the city of Sao Paulo "made their legs" during the broadcast of the match Brazil - Turkey, having escaped through a tunnel dug from the outside.

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