On this day – Zinedine Zidane born

23-6-1972: Zinedine Zidane was born in Marseille. The greatest player of his era? Here’s some of the evidenece:

  • Won two Serie A titles with Juventus (1996-97, 1997-98).
  • Scored two goals in the World Cup Final when France defeated Brazil in 1998
  • Won World Soccer Player of the Year, European Footballer of the year and FIFA Player of the year in 1998
  • Won the 2000 European Championship. Scored the winning goal in the semi-final win over Portugal.
  • Transferred from Juventus to Real Madrid for a world record fee of £45.6m in 2001.
  • Scored the winning goal in the 2001-02 Champions League final for Real Madrid over Bayer Leverkusen.
  • Won La Liga with Real Madrid (2002-03).

For me, Zidane is one of the best players I’ve ever played against. His touch is amazing – he can do things with a ball that you’ve never seen before – and he makes it all look so easy. There’s so much creativity there, but he never appears flustered in possession of the ball – that’s a sign of a great player.” Ryan Giggs, Manchester Utd.

The best since Maradona and a winner.” Ossie Ardiles.

Magic, class, the best player I’ve ever played with – and I’ve played alongside some truly brilliant footballers. So much time on the ball, such creativity and he always seems to score brilliant goals.” Fernando Morientes

The quotes are from the My Perfect XI column in FourFourTwo magazine.

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