Paris Saint-Germain tried to offer his services, in vain. Courted by the biggest clubs after two stints on the Real Madrid bench, Zinedine Zidane only has eyes for the post of coach of the France team – “the most beautiful thing ever”he confided to The Team on the occasion of his 50th birthday, Thursday 23 June.
Since his debut at AS Cannes in 1989, at the age of 15, “Zizou” has made an impression with his technique and his talent. Back in five dates on an extraordinary career crowned with all the successes.
► Noteworthy beginnings
After his first steps in the professional world with AS Cannes, Zinedine Zidane was transferred to the Girondins de Bordeaux in 1992. Quickly noticed by all observers, he distinguished himself on the international scene in 1994 on the occasion of his first selection. in the French team.
For his first match in blue, against the Czech Republic, he comes into play at the 63e minute. France is then led by two goals to nil. Twenty minutes later, Zidane, number 14 on the back, scored two goals in two minutes to save the Blues a defeat. He will become an indisputable starter a year later.
► The consecration of 1998
Four years later, he distinguished himself during the World Cup organized in France. Transferred to Juventus Turin in 1996, “Zizou” entered the history of the competition by scoring two headed goals in the final against Brazil, offering the World Cup to the Blues. That same year, he won the Ballon d’Or awarded by France Football.
In 2000, the French team shone again, this time on the European scene. Zidane, who will be voted best player at the end of the 2000 European championship, displays an exceptional level of play. Decisive in the quarter-finals and then in the semi-finals against Portugal, he opened the doors to the final for France, who won against Italy.
► Victory in the Champions League
Considered one of the best players in the world, Zinedine Zidane arrived at Real Madrid in 2001 for 75 million euros, becoming the most expensive player in the world at the time.
After a lackluster first season, he won the Champions League in 2002. In the final, he scored the winning goal with a volley at the entrance to the penalty area. A goal still considered one of the most beautiful in the history of the competition.
► A disappointing exit
Between 2003 and 2006, Real Madrid went on to disappointing results. After announcing his international retirement in 2004, “Zizou” announces that he will retire in 2006, after a final lap with the French team at the World Cup in Germany.
During the competition, he wears the captain’s armband and sends France to the final of the competition. In the quarter-finals, against Brazil, he delivered one of his finest encounters with the blue jersey. But against Italy in the final, everything collapses. He was sent off in extra time after a header on Italian defender Marco Materazzi. France will lose the match on penalties and the Frenchman ends his career with his head down.
► Real Madrid coach
Ten years after the end of his playing career, the former number 10 of the Blues succeeded Carlo Ancelotti as Real Madrid coach in January 2016. While the club is in great difficulty, Zinedine Zidane wins the Champions League as well as the following two editions of the European competition, becoming the seventh man to win the title as a player and manager.
After three successful years, he resigned from his post. He will return two years later for two seasons, during which he adds a new La Liga title to the Madrid club’s record in 2020.
Asked in recent weeks by PSG to take over from Mauro Pochettino, the Frenchman declines the offer. And is now turning to the position of coach of the France team, occupied until the end of the World Cup in Qatar, in December, by his former teammate Didier Deschamps.