Top Ten World Cup Heroes Zinedine Zidane-France's Finest
France's greatest player,"Zisou" made a dynamic contribution to the french national team for three consecutive World Cups.A football magician,the ball was always under his spell,as he wondrously controlled it with his trickery and masterful technique.Just as easily he orchestrated the French team to an historic World Cup victory on home soil in 1998,and ensured his status as a football legend. As much as he could amaze us,it was ironic that his last World Cup game should end with a moment of madness.
Born in Marseille on 23rd of June 1972 Zinedine Zidane started his club football with Cannes,and was playing some of his best football for Juventus when France hosted the 1998 World Cup Finals.
Free scoring France scored seven goals in their first two group games aided by Zidane's pin point passing and superb dead ball play.Unfortunately Zisou would miss two games after his sending off in the 4-0 triumph over Saudi Arabia.It was a hard battle against Croatia in the semi finals, but inspired by Zidane they won 2-1.
France played the mighty Brazil in the final,and roared on by a patriotic home support the French controlled the game thanks to Zidane who gave them a 2-0 half time lead with two superb headers.Despite having Desailly sent off the French sealed the game with a third from Petit, and Les Bleus were World Champions for the first time, fittingly Zisou took the Golden Ball.
The Final Finals
The 2002 world Cup was a disaster for France, Zidane missed the first two matches for the reigning champions. He played in the third game against Denmark,still not fully fit, and the favourites were beaten 2-0.The French did not score a single goal,and were on the plane home after the group stages.
Zisou retired from International football in 2004, he returned to play in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.Zidane was instrumental in the 3-1 defeat of Spain in the last sixteen, scoring the second goal.In the quarter-final his free-kick was turned in by Thierry Henry, and his deciding goal sealed a 1-0 win against Brazil.
A Zidane penalty was enough to beat Portugal 1-0,and ensure another World Cup Final.Italy were their opponents, and when Zidane scored a seventh minute penalty, he became the fourth player to score in two World Cup finals.France, inspired by Zidane were the better team,but Italy levelled and it was extra time.
Zidane inexplicably head butted Marco Materazzi ten minutes from the end, and he was shown the red card, Italy took the honours after a 5-3 penalty shoot-out.His last ever game for France ended in disgrace.
Zidane scored 29 goals for France in 106 matches,6 of these were scored in the World Cup Finals.He had head-butted Materazzi after he was taunted by the Italian player,despite this he was named as the tournaments best player.
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