There are many moments in the legendary Frenchman’s that are worth recollecting, but there are few that defined his momentous career as a player and a coach.
The 1998 Final:
Zizou’s first world cup, in front of his beloved home support, the stage was set for the Young man to write himself into the history books of French football and that too at the biggest stage of them all. The French played the tournament Favourites and carrying the expectations of their fans on their shoulders, played their way into the final. Come the final, the 26 – year old man etched himself into French history as he netted twice and won his country the World cup. He became an instant hero, so much that his face was projected onto the Arc de Triomphe with the message “Merci Zizou”.
The move to Santiago Bernabeu:
After performing extraordinary feats at Juventus, Zizou decided to embark on a new journey, one that will make him a footballing legend. He decided to move to the Spanish capital. Real Madrid had to pay a sum of €77.5 million and this only showed how much Juventus valued him as a player and it showed us how far he had really come and how well he has really done to achieve what he has and get to the position he is in.
That World Cup Final headbutt:
One huge blot on Zidane’s extraordinary career surely has to be the infamous headbutt on Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the 2006 world cup final. He was instigated by Materazzi but a man of his experience and caliber is not expected to make blunders like this especially in a World Cup Final. His red card cost the Les Bleus the World Cup and a great man had to end his career on a sour note.
First steps into management:
Having hung up his boots as one of football’s greatest, his former club Real Madrid offered him a coaching role, which one day would become the Frenchman’s future. He took up the managerial job as Real’s B side- Castilla. He went on to take up a development role at the club and went on to shape the futures of bright youngsters for first team football later on in their careers.
A Champions League maestro:
In the 2015-16 season, his first season as a senior manager, he led the Los Blancos to a champions league title and that too against their local rivals Atletico Madrid. His first season as a manager seemed like it would be a hard challenge for him, especially after he received all the backlash and a doubt loomed over his fans on whether his managerial career would be as successful as his playing career. But he proved his doubters wrong as he has done throughout his career and not once but three times. He won three successive Champions League titles with Real before his shock resignation. He got the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo by transforming the big man from a speedy winger to an out and out centre-forward and sometimes even placing him with Benzema or Bale in a two-man partnership and created a team that is built for knockout competitions.
🏆 🏆 🏆
Three @ChampionsLeague titles in 878 days.
Zidane arrived at #RealMadrid as a legend already.
And he leaves as one.
— MARCA in English (@MARCAinENGLISH) June 2, 2018