Zinedine Zidane is one of the most famous football players of all time. The flag bearer of a decade that certainly had a fast flowing approach to it. Widely known for being the master of the fundamentals and techniques of the game, Zidane had a skill set which others could only dream of. During his playing days, he exhibited some excellent control and dribbling skills matched with an extraordinary vision and great leadership qualities. The way he distributed and controlled the ball is nothing short of a perfectionist.
Zinedine Zidane played for France internationally and scored a total of 31 goals in 108 outings. He was a top notch for France, scoring 31 goals in 108 appearances. These are some astonishing numbers as far as his positioning in the center of the park is concerned. Having won the FIFA Player of the year thrice along with a Ballon d'Or, he turned out to be an influential figure for both club and country. He has won it all, right from La Liga to Serie A and from Champions League to the World Cup. In his spell as the manager for Real Madrid, he won the UCL thrice in a row. Setting new benchmarks for future generations as well.
Here we take a look at Real Madrid's era under Zidane:
Preceding year: It was the year 2000-01 when Florentino Perez was just appointed as the president of Real. And he began on a signing spree with the signings being known as the Galacticos, a term which meant the best players around the globe. Luis Figo was the first big name signing to come along at the start of the campaign. It was a rather controversial move keeping in mind that he switched Barcelona for Madrid. It did cost him around £60 million, a world record transfer fee then. And they won the league comfortably under the guidance of Vicente Del Bosque. The last year champions were knocked out in the semi-final stage of the UEFA Champions League. It was not as if they were at a downfall but they did lack that dynamism in the middle of the park.
His record-breaking move: Zinedine Zidane was a top player back then in his Juventus days also. He gathered much appreciation for his work in controlling the tempo of the game. In his quest for signing the best available names in the market, Perez went out there and secured the signature of the Frenchman in a record-breaking deal. A then-world record transfer fee of £77.5 million was paid to Juventus for his signing. And he had an instant impact in the proceedings of the club, scoring a thumping volley with his weaker foot to see off Bayer Leverkusen in the UCL 2001-02 final. This goal is considered as one of the best goals in the history of the tournament, sensing the nervousness of the moment. The strike saw Zidane produce one of the most emotional celebrations as he ran towards the touchline with mouth wide open and screaming in delight.
Subsequent years at the club: The subsequent year saw them clinch the La Liga in some fashion. David Beckham was the next galactico under Perez’s reign. In 2004, fans voted Zidane as the best European footballer of the past 50 years in UEFA fiftieth anniversary golden jubilee pool. His final year was kind of a downfall for the team as they finished with no trophies to their name. But on a personal note, Zidane did score his first hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Sevilla in January 2006. For Real Madrid, he was second both in goal scoring as well as in assists chart to Ronaldo and Beckham respectively. He finished with 9 goals and 10 assists in 28 games. On 7 May 2006, he played his farewell in front of a jam-packed stadium which had banners of ‘Thanks for the magic’.
Apart from his playing days, he has been an integral part of the administration at Real. Winning the UCL three times in a row as a manager. You just cannot write off the brilliance that is Zinedine Zidane!