Join us as we take an in depth look at Zinedine Zidane biography the greatest French player of all time and one of the greatest footballers of all time
Zinedine Yazid Zidane, simply known as Zinedine Zidane is one of the greatest players to ever grace the football pitch. The Frenchman rose to fame in the early 90s by playing for Cannes and Bordeaux in Ligue 1 before moving to Italian giants Juventus and later joining Real Madrid in 2001, where he became a legend and retired from football in 2006. Having already been champions of 98 World Cup and Euro 2000 with France, Zinedine Zidane’s last bout as a player came with France as well and at the 2006 World Cup, where he captained and led his team to the final, at the age of 34, which speaks volumes about his quality as a player.
We previously highlighted Zidane’s career as one of the players with most amount of individual awards, as Zizou has one 1 Ballon d’Or and 3 FIFA Player of the Year award. His time as the manager of Real Madrid has been almost as successful as he was as a player. All of which we will look at more closely in this
Zinedine Zidane biography
. Now with the brief introduction out of the way, Let’s take an extensive look at Zinedine Zidane biography to see how his journey as a footballer went.
Join us as we take a closer look at Zinedine Zidane bio, to see how he achieved the highest levels of success both as a player and later as a manager.
So let’s start Zinedine Zidane bio with a general information about his physical attributes and his position on the pitch:
Full Name: Zinedine Yazid Zidane
Profession: Head-coach of Real Madrid
Height: 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Eye Color: Green
Hair Color: Black
Weight: 80 kg
Positon: Attacking Midfielder
Professional Debut: 18 May 1989
Jersey Number: 5, 10
Date of Birth: 23 June 1972
Birth Place: La Castellane Marseille, France
We start our Zinedine Zidane biography with a brief account of his early life and upbringing, where he was born to an Algerian immigrant family in the suburbs Marseille.
Zinedine Zidane date of birth
is on 23 June of 1972. Zidane’s heritage would define and shape a lot of his personality and even some of the anger he showed on the pitch later in his career, since he wasn’t treated right as an Algerian Muslim.
Zidane’s father, Smail, worked at a department store and his mother, Malika, was a housewife. Zizou was the youngest of five siblings and although they lived in a crime-ridden neighborhood, Zidane claims that his father’s guidance helped him overcome hardships and never stray towards any crime.
Zinedine Zidane childhood
and on the streets of La Castellane, Marseille, Zidane began his love of football, playing with the neighborhood kids and later supporting his hometown team Marseille, that he never played for. 1986-87 season was perhaps a turning point in Zidane’s life as 3 of his idols, Papin, Enzo Francescoli and Blaz Sliskovic, played for Marseille.
After playing for a couple of local clubs like Saint-Henri and Septemes, Zidane attended a training camp held by the French Federation and it was there at the age of 14 that he was discovered by an AS Cannes agent and was brought to the Ligue 1 club. Read on further into Zinedine Zidane biography to see how his club career went.
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In this section of Zinedine Zidane biography we take a look at his career as a footballer in the different teams that he played throughout his career, starting with his time at Ligue 1:
First let’s take a look at Zinedine Zidane’s club career as well as his time with the French national team:
Despite his early promise. It took 4 years until Zidane made his professional career. During this time, he had a few disciplinary problems that were for the most part resolved after Cannes Director Jean-Claude Elineau took him under his wings.
He then went on to make his debut for the club in 18 May 1989 against Nantes, who he would score his first professional goal against two years later. It wasn’t until the 90-91 season that Zidane started to become a regular at Cannes, showing glimpses of his incredible talent and helping them achieve their highest Ligue 1 finish by becoming 4th.
Having established himself as great young talent, it was now time for Zidane to move to a bigger club and he ended up joiningBordeaux
, where he would become part of a great team and era of the club. His partnership with Bixente Lizarazu and Cristophe Dugarry helped Bordeaux win the Intertoto cup in 1995 and reach the final of UEFA Cup, which they ended up losing againstBayern Munich
. During this time there was growing interest for Zidane across the Europe’s top leagues, especially England, but he opted for a move to Serie A, after being named 1995-96 Ligue 1 Player of the Season.
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Zidane’s hard work in Ligue 1 didn’t go unnoticed and the European Champions,Juventus
, came knocking on his door. Zizou decided to join the Bianconneri in 1996. Success was soon to follow as he and Juventus went on to win the Serie A twice consecutively upon Zidane’s arrival. They would also reach the final of Champions League on both seasons but ended up losing on both occasions toDortmund
Although he managed to win an Intertoto Cup with Juventus the rest of his career with the Old Lady was devoid of any major trophy, Zidane himself won quite a few trophies, namely a Ballon d’Or in 1998 and two FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998 and 2000.
Although he had won everything in his time at Juve, including a World Cup and a Euro, there was one trophy that eluded him, Champions League, so the next chapter in
Zinedine Zidane life story
had to be at the place that specialized in that trophy, Real Madrid.
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In what was the world record fee for transfers, Zinedine Zidane agreed to join Real Madrid for €77.5 million in 2001, a record that would not be broken for another 8 years. The expectations were high from Zizou as he linked up with the world’s best players like Raul, Luis Figo and Roberto Carlos.
As always Zidane delivered when put on spotlight as he went on to win the Champions League in his debut season with Real Madrid, with him scoring that memorable left-footed volley goal in the final, which remains as one of the most beautiful goals in the competition’s history.
Zidane helped Real Madrid win the La Liga title the following season and he picked up another Ballon d’Or nomination and a FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2003. Despite only winning 2 major trophies with Real Madrid, Zidane has become an important part of Real Madrid’s history, partly because of his status as one of the greatest players ever to pull on a football shirt and partly because of the way he performed on the pitch and later led Real Madrid to unimaginable glory as a manager.
After 5 seasons with Real Madrid, Zidane decided to hang his boots in 2006, shortly after his 34th birthday, with the 2006 World Cup final being his last official game.
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Zinedine Zidane nationality
is French although he could’ve played for Algeria because of his immigrant parents, nonetheless he chose France and became perhaps their greatest player ever. He represented France in 5 major tournaments between 17 August 1994 when he made his debut against Czech Republic and 2006 World Cup.
Although he participated in Euro 96 and reached the semi-finals with France, it was in 1998 World Cup held on France’s own soil that Zidane truly became a national hero as he helped France achieve a long-awaited dream by reaching the World Cup final and beating the defending champions Brazil in style, with Zidane scoring 2 goals from the header in the first half and Petit later adding a third. France took that momentum to Euro 2000, where Zidane was named the tournament’s best player, dominaring every match and helping them win the title.
After 2 disappointing tournaments in 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, Zidane announced his retirement from international duty but as France was struggling to qualify for 2006 World Cup, Zidane, Makelele and Thuram came out of retirement and helped France reach the World Cup.
He then went on a step further, leading France to the World Cup final, with his performance against Brazil in the quarter-finals being one of the best in World Cup history. He scored from the spot in the final but ended the game by being sent off from that infamous head-butt into Materazzi’s stomach. France would lose the game on penalties to Italy. This would be Zidane’s last professional match.
One of the most elegant and technically gifted players of all time, Zinedine Zidane operated mainly as an attacking midfielder but he could operate a bit deeper or even further up the pitch as well. As a midfielder and a playmaker, Zidane was extremely calm on the ball and yet his decision making was almost always perfect and he timed them perfectly, whether it was to dribble past opponents, take a shot or create chances for the team.
His impeccable dribbling skills allowed him to create more space for him which allowed him sufficient time to make his next decision. You would be hard-pressed to find a better dribbler than Zizou in football history.
In addition to this, Zidane was quite capable when it came to scoring goals, whether it was from a long-range shot, a volley or even a header. Which made him dangerous both when he had the ball and when he received it in the box. All in all, Zidane was the perfect playmaker midfielder, perhaps the best in football history.
Zinedine Zidane biography
is full of people praising his talent, skills and achievements, so much so that it could honestly be an article on itself but we’ll try to make it short. Obviously by now in this article it’s been established that Zinedine Zidane is one of the greatest players ever.
Upon his return to the national team that we mentioned above, Thierry Henry stated that: "In France, everybody realized that God exists, and that he is back in the French international team.", which perfectly summarizes the impact Zidane had over fans and even his peers who were themselves among the best.
His use of feints, step-overs and his infamous La Roulette dribble which was his trademark, made Zidane an incredible player to watch so much so that by his teammate, Roberto Carlos’ account, fans arrived earlier just to watch him warm up. In addition to this, He is widely considered to be the best French player of all time and has featured in numerous lists and team selections of the best ever players in football, which we will get to later in this Zinedine Zidane biography.
Zinedine Zidane didn’t have any particular goal celebration as he usually would raise his fists running to the fans, while shouting his joy over his goal. Although his face wouldn’t show much joy as his emotions were ever so minimal!
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Outside football, Zinedine Zidane life story has been subject of several documentaries, including the 2005 documentary Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.
He has also taken part in many football-related ads or videos as well as being the ambassador of several causes including Qatar’s successful bid for hosting the 2022 World Cup.
In fact, since
Zinedine Zidane religion
is Islam, he is well-loved amongst the Muslim community and he has embraced that by helping Muslims all around the world, perhaps partly because of the hardships he endured as a Muslim immigrant in France.
It wouldn’t be a complete Zinedine Zidane biography without mentioning his personal life. So read on as we take a look at Zinedine Zidane life story, relationships and philanthropy in this
Zinedine Zidane bio
Whilst playing for Cannes in 1989 and still being 17, Zidane met his future wife Véronique Fernández, who is of Spanish descent. The two married in 1994 and have 4 sons: Enzo (25), Luca (22), Theo (18) and Elyaz (16).
All of his 4 sons have played for Real Madrid at various levels, with Enzo and Luca being professional footballers. While Enzo has played in Switzerland, Spain and Portugal, he is a free agent right now but Luca is playing for the Segunda Division team Rayo Vallecano.
Zinedine Zidane has been quite the philanthropist throughout his life, taking part in numerous charity matches to raise funds for different causes against poverty or specific illnesses like AIDS.
He has been a UN Goodwill Ambassador since 2001 and upon him receiving that title, he said that: "everyone can do something to make the world a better place".
Perhaps the most well-known charity he has been a part of is the Legends charity matches that take place between the former players of big European clubs, which is both entertaining and raises a lot of money for various charity foundations.
There aren’t any big legal issues concerning Zinedine Zidane besides a minor incident regarding his coaching license in 2014 where he was banned from coaching for 3 months because of not having the proper license to coach in Spain.
This section of Zinedine Zidane biography belongs to his career statistics in the French national team and the clubs that he played at:
Zinedine Zidane biography
isn’t complete without his general statistics in the clubs that he played, starting with AS Cannes where he played 71 matches and scored 6 goals before moving on to Bordeaux in 1992 where he stayed for 4 seasons scoring 39 goals in 179 matches.
Then in 1996 his move to the European Champions Juventus came, where he stayed for 5 seasons, featuring in 214 matches, scoring 31 goals helping them win 2 Serie A titles. His final club as a player was Real Madrid, where he again stayed for 5 seasons between 2001 and 2006, featuring in 230 matches and scoring 49 goals. He ended up retiring from football after the 2006 World Cup at the age of 34.
Making his debut for the France against Czech Republic in 17 August 1994, Zidane went on to feature 108 times for the Les Bleus, becoming their 5th most capped player. He managed to score 31 goals in those games 3 of which were in World Cup finals, which is the most amount any player has scored in World Cup finals. Being the greatest French player of all time, Zidane helped France win the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 as well as helping them reach the 2006 final, winning the best player trophy in the Euro 2000 and 2006 World Cup tournaments.
Zidane made his managerial debut in 2014, coaching Real Madrid’s B team, Castilla for 57 games with a win ratio of 45.61%. during this time, he also was acting as an assistant for Carlo ancelotti, Real Madrid’s then manager.
After Rafael Benitez was sacked in 2016 as Real Madrid’s manager, Zidane was appointed Real Madrid’s head coach and went on to achieve the impossible, winning 3 Champions League titles in a row between 2015 and 2018. During which he also managed Real Madrid to a La Liga title as well as two FIFA Club World Cup trophies.
After a spell of 149 matches as Real Madrid manager with an incredible win percentage of almost 70%, Zidane resigned from his position but he was forced to return to the job after his replacements were not getting the results Real Madrid wanted. On his second spell, which is still going, Zidane has managed to win the La Liga title in 2019-20 season and has high hopes of winning more trophies this season.
In the closing section of Zinedine Zidane bio, we take a brief look at his achievements, either team or individual achievements, throughout his years in the French Ligue 1 to his days in the Spanish La Liga.
Making his debut in 1989 for AS Cannes, Zidane went on to play for them for 4 seasons and managed to help them achieve their highest Ligue 1 finish since 1948, being placed 4th in the league which qualified them for the UEFA Cup. He then went on to Bordeaux where he gradually become one of Ligue 1s best players, winning the award of the Best Ligue 1 Young Player and Best Player consecutively in 1995 and 1996, helping Bordeaux win the 1995 Intertoto Cup.
He then went on to Serie A and Juventus and started his career there almost as perfectly as he could, winning the Serie A title twice consecutively upon his arrival and reaching Champions League final on both season, although Juventus lost both matches. The rest of his career at Juve was only accompanied by an Intertoto Cup but on individual level, Zidane managed to win quite a few awards including a Ballon d’Or and 2 FIFA Best Player of the Year award.
In search of winning the Champions League title, Zidane went to the competition’s specialists, Real Madrid, and managed to achieve his dream of winning the competition on his first season, scoring that infamous volley goal in the final against Bayer Leverkusen. He won the La Liga with Real Madrid the following season which was his last ever big trophy before retiring from football in 2006.
Zizou is also one of the most decorated French players of all time, representing his country in 6 major tournaments, reaching the final of 2 World Cups and a Euro. He helped France immensely in winning the 1998 World Cup, scoring twice in the Final, and was also named the Player of the Tournament two years later as France won the Euros. He helped France to 2006 World Cup final but France ended up losing the final. As a manager Zidane has become one of the best European managers of all time by winning the Champions League 3 consecutive times, he has also won the La Liga and FIFA Club World Cup twice each.
Quite fittingly the last section of Zinedine Zidane bio is in regards to his individual acheivments which is where he shone the most, winning 3 FIFA Best Player of the Year award as well as being nominated for 3 Ballon d’Ors winning only once in 1998, among countless other trophies, records and special recognitions.