Zinedine Zidane, arguably the greatest French player of all time, struggled through poverty and humble beginnings to the pinnacle of his sport, cementing his legendary status in world football with some breathtaking moments of sheer genius and sometimes madness.
Zidane was born on 23 June 1972 as the son of the Algerian immigrants Smaïl and Malika, who had moved to Paris from the northern Algerian region in 1953, shortly before the outbreak of the Algerian war. He grew up in La Castellane, a suburb of Marseille. His first contact with football was at the age of five when he played with children in Place Tartane, a public square in La Castellane.
Zidane received his first players’ license at the age of ten after joining the US Saint-Henri junior team. After a year and a half, he moved to another amateur team SO Septèmes-Les-Vallons, where he played until he was 14 years old. During this time he was selected to take part in a training camp (Regional Centre for Sport and Physical Education) of the French federation. In this camp, Zidane was selected for recruitment by the AS Cannes scout and former player Jean Varraud.
Zidane initially appeared at AS Cannes for a six-week trial period, but then represented the club for four years. He made his debut in Cannes against Nantes on 18 May 1989. After scoring his first goal for the club on 10 February 1991, the President of Cannes, Alain Peretti, gave Zidane a car (a promise he had previously made to him).
Throughout his career, Zidane will reject any attempt to ridicule his miserable origins or his Arab roots. He was disciplined at Cannes for beating an opponent who ridiculed his ghetto upbringing, a forerunner who would accompany him throughout his career.
In his debut season at AS Cannes, Zidane helped the side to fourth place in French Division 1, the first time in the club’s history that they had qualified for Europe.
Zinedine Zidane was sold to Girondins Bordeaux in 1992. During his four-year tenure in Bordeaux, he helped the club win the Intertoto Cup in 1995 after a win over Karlsruhe. In the 1995/1996 season, Zidane became runners-up in the UEFA Cup for Bayern Munich.
With his rapidly rising number of players, it was only normal that European heavyweights would circle around his services. After winning Ligue 1 as Player of the Year in 1996, Zidane moved on to become UEFA Champions League winners Juventus.
Zidane was an instant success in Italy, helping his side to the Serie A title in 1996-97 and the Intercontinental Cup in 1996. In the Champions League, Juventus played in the UEFA Champions League final three times in a row.
In 1998, France hosted the World Cup, which was the perfect stage for Zidane to show off his skills. After being sent off a Saudi player for stamping in the second match of the group stage, Zidane returned to the team and played a key role in France’s march to the final against tournament favorites Brazil. Zidane scored two goals in the final and helped France win 3-0. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998 and also won the Ballon d’Or.
In 2000, Zinedine Zidane won the European Championship with the golden generation of French football and was named player of the tournament.
Back in club football, Zidane was signed by Spanish giants Real Madrid for a world-record transfer fee of $66 million. His signature was in keeping with Club Galactico’s philosophy of bringing together the elite of footballers from around the world into one team. In that era, the team included Zidane, David Beckham, Raul, Portuguese icon Luis Figo, Brazilian full-back Roberto Carlos and legendary Brazilian striker Ronaldo. Madrid won the league title and the coveted UEFA Champions League title in their first year.
Zidane came out of retirement to lead France to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but after a slow start, the French made it to the final. In the last match of his illustrious career, on the biggest stage ever, Zizou was sent off the field for a head-butt against Italian defender Marco Materazzi. Without his talismanic leader, the French fell into defeat at the hands of the Italians.
It is difficult to find star players to enter football management and maintain their pedigree in the often volatile corridors of modern training. Even after his retirement, Zidane continues to rewrite the history books. Having spent his entire coaching career at Real Madrid, Zidane was appointed head coach of Real Madrid on 4 January 2016 following the dismissal of Rafa Benitez.
He is the first manager to win the Champions League twice in a row. As head coach of Real Madrid, he has won the La Liga: 2016-17, the Supercopa de España 2017, the UEFA Champions League: 2016 and 2017, and the UEFA Super Cup 2016 and 2017, as well as winning the FIFA Club World Cup in 2016 and 2017.
Zinedine Zidane’s Family, Son
Zinedine Zidane was born as the youngest of five siblings. His father Smaïl was a night watchman in a local department store, while his mother Malika was a housewife. He is married to Véronique Fernández, whom he met at the age of 17 when he played for AS Cannes in France. The couple married in 1994.
The marriage is blessed with four sons: Enzo, Luca, Theo, and Elyaz. All Zidane boys follow in the footsteps of their famous father: Enzo, Luca, Theo, and Elyaz. Enzo is a midfielder for Lausanne Sport, Luca – the goalkeeper of Real Madrid’s third choice, while Theo and Elyaz (both midfielders) still play for the Real Madrid Academy.
Salary, Net Worth
The current salary of the head of Real Madrid is estimated at around 9.5 million dollars. After a lucrative career as a footballer, his net worth is estimated at 70 million dollars.
Zinedine Zidane stands at an impressive 1.85 meters (6 feet 1 inch) and weighs 80 kg.