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Zidane happy to be recognized as world's best player

Thu 23 June 2022 | 8:54

Zidane has won many honors at both the national and club levels, but has won the Ballon d'Or only once.

Zinedine Zidane claimed that he always wanted to be known as the best player in the world, but 1998 was not his best season of the year.

Zidane won the 1998 World Cup with

France

, scoring two goals in the final against Brazil and winning the Ballon d'Or at the end of the year. Although Zidane won many honors in the following seasons, both at club and national level, he was recognized as the best player in the world only in that year. Now celebrating his 50th birthday, Zidane has claimed that the title is very important to him.

He said:

"Because I give everything, I am able to offer everything. I have almost nothing at home from my career. Two or three objects. I am not at all conservative or materialistic. When I want to see souvenirs, I go to Marseille [where his parents live]. I don't live with it.

"I was a little overconfident the weeks before the vote. I got a little fired up in a few interviews. I've never been one to say, 'I deserve this or that,' but with this Ballon d'Or, in 1998, I told myself a little bit. It wasn't really me but I really wanted to have it.

"I was the best player in the world. It does not happen often, and to me only once. There may be preferences in the votes but when you have it, you have it. You are the best player in the world at this time, and it's beautiful."

He added:

"After the World Cup, I was catastrophic," he said. "I no longer put one foot in front of the other. Even my friends told me: 'But it's your cousin who plays, it's your cousin who came back to Juve!' When you win a big title like the World Cup, you tend to slack off. And me, I really relaxed.

"It takes time. After January, I restarted. Very well in January and February then I injured myself. One hundred days. The season is over. Then I resumed for the 1999-2000 season with the victory at the Euro. There, I was at the top.

"For the next two or three seasons, I never let go. 1998 was my year but I think 1999-2000 was my greatest season. Not just for me. For our whole generation in blue. Our France team was exceptional. Euro 2000 remains the pinnacle of this generation. At the Euro, we were unplayable."

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