Between “love at first sight” and “headbutt”, Zidane still in everyone’s memory

This Thursday is a big day, which should be a holiday for some. Zinedine Zidane turns 50. Half a century after his birth, it is clear that the former player, during his long career, marked the memories. When we ask our readers about the subject, it is first of all the footballer’s virtuosity that remains in everyone’s mind.

“I remember his debut at AS Cannes, says Pascal. We were already in awe of his talent. “” For me, Zidane is France-Brazil in 2006, says Diego. I started to appreciate football by seeing his performance. It was lunar. I was in awe of the choreography he was performing. “The best player of all time,” enthuses Mehdi. A beauty in the game, a technique as rarely seen. My idol. “” How can we forget this header in the final against Brazil, wonders Mustapha. Above all, where did the ball go before entering the goal! »

” A man, a real man “

“It was in Bordeaux, one summer evening in 1994, Olivier relates. Zidane still had hair. It was in his Girondins stadium but for his first selection with the France team. Zidane was a substitute and shy, not yet Zizou. The adversary was the Czech Republic, which Thierry Roland called the Czech Republic. The Czechs had a very good team, a daring hairdresser and an ugly red and white striped jersey. The Blues were mediocre and led 2-0. Aimé Jacquet was biting his nails on the bench. And then Zidane came in. And then Zidane scored. A stepover, a rocket from the left in the skylight, a head under the bar. 2 everywhere. It was like love at first sight, the start of a love story. »

Apart from his sporting performances, Zidane’s human qualities are praised even today. “He’s a man, a real one, with values, a humble man,” says Karen. “I had the chance to meet Zizou during my time on the show Stage 2 in 1996, explains Francis. That day, there was Dugarry as the main guest who was celebrating his 24th birthday. I was with my nephew who was 8 at the time. I ask him if he wants an autograph from Dugarry. He refuses. So we leave the studio first. And in the long corridor in the distance, I see Zizou. Without hesitation, I throw him a: “Hi Zizou! How are you?” holding out my hand to him. And great was my happiness when he took my hand to greet me by answering me: “I’m fine, thank you!”. A great moment for me, engraved for life”

“There is Zidane behind you, in the store! »

“It was only a few days after the 1998 World Cup final, reports Coralie. With my companion, we were at the Hypermedia de Vitrolles, ancestor of Boulanger, to buy a cell phone. You should know that at the time, when you bought a laptop, you were made to sit behind a small desk, because you were buying something qualitative. Suddenly, I see my companion completely bewildered. He said to me: “Don’t turn around. There’s Zinédine Zidane right behind you, in the store!” You have to know that the whole of France only talked about that. Of course, I turn around. And I see Zidane wandering the shelves with his son Enzo in his hand. It was extremely funny because the store was adorned with garlands bearing the image of the France team. But it was so unlikely that he was there, the absolute hero of the World Cup, that no one noticed him. »

Coralie understands, however, that she is living a unique moment. “I had a disposable camera and I asked him to take pictures,” she continues. I was very impressed, extremely moved. I thought I was going to vomit on my feet. He had very beautiful eyes. And he agreed to take pictures. I found him to be incredibly kind and humble in this context. When we started taking the photos, the sellers, hearing the noise of the camera, stopped and understood that it was Zidane. And there, the noise spread slowly in the mall, and everyone ran to the store! That he is there, in a shopping mall in Vitrolles a few days after his victory against Brazil, shows his legendary humility. »

“Capable of the best and the worst”

A unanimously acclaimed temperament, including in his native Marseille district, La Castellane. “There is the Zidane of the neighborhoods and the Zidane of the stadiums, laughs Lyece Choulak, deputy mayor of 15-16 and from the neighborhood. He was for me one of the big brothers, who doesn’t forget where he comes from. In the media, he has the image of being shy. But us, he made us laugh. He was dynamic, mocking, bon vivant, and already a leader in a group. I remember a scene at the collage. My class and his were glued. The French teacher shouts: “Yazid! You’re not going to do anything with your life!”. It marked me, you understand…”

A life tainted by a stroke of blood on Marco Materazi during this famous decisive match against Italy during the World Cup in Berlin that Zidane still pays today. “Zidane was capable of the best and the worst,” says Pierrick. He could cry with joy or with rage. His legendary career faded from my eyes one evening in July 2006… A legend doesn’t do that! Too bad…” “He was a violent man on the ground, accuses Jean. He had too many red cards for the position he held. He showed the worst example at the worst time. »

In an interview given this Thursday to The Team, Zinédine Zidane says “not to be proud” of this gesture, which closes his international career. “It ends like this, he breathes with our colleagues. It’s hard. But it’s my career. The story of my life. Like my two goals in 1998 in the final. That’s why I say that with the Blues, it’s not over. Somehow, I don’t want to end up like this. It’s not over. Zizou still has many memories to create…

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