Zinedine ZIDANE | More than a footballer | Biography
Zinedine Zidane




Zinedine Zidane was born June 23, 1972, in Marseille, France. Zidane got his start in football (known as soccer in North America) at an early age, when he joined the US Saint-Henri club.

e moved on to Septemes Sports Olympiques after the coach convinced the director of the club to sign him. After leaving Septemes at the age of 14, Zidane participated in the first year junior selection for the league championship, the same year he was discovered.

Off to Cannes

He was called in for 3 days at the sport regional centre in Aix-en-Provence, where Jean Varraud, Cannes' recruiter, noticed the French/Algerian player. He ventured off to Cannes for what was intended to be a six-week stay, but remained even longer. Playing with professionals at the age of 16, it would only be a matter of time when he too would turn pro, and he knew he was on his way to realizing his dreams.

Showing the determination of an athlete who wants to exceed expectations, Zidane had played his first game in First Division at the age of 17, and it was from then that football went from an ambition to a passion. The Cannes midfielder scored his first goal on February 8th, 1991 (he received a Clio as a promise from the Cannes President, who promised him a car when he scored his first goal as a professional), and his first season with the club was marked by a qualification for the UEFA Cup.

Zidane's second season with Cannes wasn't as promising, but on the non-professional front he met his future wife Veronique, a Spanish dancer. After a lukewarm 91-92 season, Zidane felt it was time for a change and switched to Bordeaux after he was asked to sign a four-year contract. Marseille also wanted Zidane, but Bordeaux proved to want him more.

Kicking and soaring

His beginning with Bordeaux was hard on 24-year-old Zidane, as it forced him to adapt, but once he did, he did so with flying colours. Not only did Bordeaux qualify every year that Zidane played with the team, but Bordeaux also qualified for the UEFA Cup through Intertoto and went to the final in 95-96, Zidane's last year with the team.

At the same time, Juventus sought out Zidane, and after his four crucial seasons with Bordeaux, he moved to Torino. Again, Zidane was forced to adapt to the Italian way of playing as well as to the lifestyle, but after his first year, he was a bona fide star.

It was with Juventus that Zidane won titles, as Winner of the 1996 European Super Cup, the 1996 European/South American Cup, Winner of the 1997 League Super Cup, named 1997 and 1998 Italy Champion, and Finalist of the 1997 and 1998 Champions League.

His individual awards include the Golden Ball in 1998, and he was named Best Player of the Year by the FIFA in 1998 and 2000.

Most expensive football player

In 2001, Zizou became the most expensive player in football history when Real Madrid acquired him for 46 million pounds (roughly $66 million US Dollars). Even if he does have to adapt to the Spanish way of life, he certainly won't have to adapt to being the star player, nor the award winner.

Zinedine and Veronique have two sons, Enzo (named after Enzo Francescoli) and Luca. In addition to promoting a slew of sports products, Zidane is also Christian Dior's first male model.

© Fernando García

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