Now that it’s the World Cup season, that one name which will be brought up is definitely Zinedine Zidane. Zidane won the 1998 FIFA World Cup by scoring twice in the finals and subsequently being named to the All-Star Team. Upon his retirement as a football player for Real Madrid, he became a professional football coach and was well-known for his elegance, vision, ball control and technique in the field. Here’s 5 facts about Zidane which all football fans should know by now:
1. He was named top player three times
Zidane acquired player of the year honors in 1998 from Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). He also acquired the same honor in 2000 and 2003.
2. He made a good first appearance in his first season in Real Madrid
He scored a stunning match-winning barrage in the Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen. He also helped Real win La Liga. In 2003 Zinedine Zidane was named FIFA world player of the year for an extraordinary third time.
3. His nickname is “Zizou”
He is known as “Zizou” ever since one of his coaches, Rolland Courbis shortened his name. Apparently getting a nickname is quite a common practice in France.
4. First French manager for Real Madrid
Zinedine Zidane was the first French manager in the 114-years history of Real Madrid.
5. Best European Soccer Player
He was named the best European Soccer player in 2004 by the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll. Zinedine was also involved in the FIFA 100, Pele’s list of the 125 greatest living players.
Header picture source: Goal