Football Players Who Will Be Remembered For The Wrong Reasons, Part 5

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Football Players Who Will Be Remembered For The Wrong Reasons, Part 5
 Zinedine Yazid Zidane
Zinedine Yazid Zidane joined local club Marseille at the age of 14 and after a short while he was noticed by an AS Cannes scout. He went to the club for six weeks and ended up signing a professional contract, staying there for four years.
He got a taste of Ligue 1 at the age of 17, and scored his first goal in 1991 and was essential in the team qualifying for the UEFA Cup.
Zidane transferred to Girondins de Bordeaux the next season and in 1995 won the Intertoto Cup, finishing runners-up in the UEFA Cup in the 1995-1996. He partnered perfectly with Bixente Lizarazu and Christophe Dugarry in midfield, the success of which was
replicated in the French national team as well. The different midfield combinations these three French players played became a trademark for both club and country, the trio being feared by opponents.
After a successful spell Zidane moved to Juventus in 1996 for a fee of £3.2 million. He won the 1996-1997 Serie A title with the UEFA Champions League winners, and also claimed the 1996 Intercontinental Cup. However, the Italian giants failed to win the
Champions League the following season, losing 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund in the final. In the 1997-1998 season Zidane scored 7 goals in the 32 matches he featured in the league to help Juventus win the Serie A again.
Juventus duplicated their success in Europe by making three consecutive UEFA Champions League final appearances, but losing out to Real Madrid in their last final. Little did Zidane know then, he would shortly be joining Madrid as soon as the next season.
Juventus failed to finish top in the Serie A for a third consecutive year, managing second place in the 2000-2001 season. The Champions League campaign was a disappointment, as Juventus failed to make it past the group stages and Zidane was sent off against
Hamburger SV for head-butting Jochen Kientz.
Real Madrid signed Zidane for a world-record fee of about €75 million; he signed a four year contract and was an instant success with the club. He is most remembered for the match-winning goal against Bayer Leverkusen, his volley-off of his weak foot gave
the Spanish side a 2-1 win in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final. The following season Zidane helped Madrid claim the 2002-2003 La Liga title, and was rightly named the “FIFA World Player of the Year” for the third time in his career.
In 2004, he was voted the best European footballer of the last 50 years in the UEFA 50th anniversary golden jubilee poll. But unfortunately, his last season at the club ended trophy-less. He announced his plans of retirement in May 2006, confirming
that he would retire after the 2006 World Cup. His last club match was against Villarreal CF, where he scored a goal to help his side to a 3-3 draw. Such was his popularity with the club that the entire squad wore commemorative shirts with “ZIDANE 2001-2006”
printed on them.
Despite all of the royals associated with the player, the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when they think about Zidane is his head butt incident.  Zidane was part of the French team that made it all the way to the World Cup finals in 2006; the
team they were facing in that match was Italy. France were doing rather well until a bizarre incident broke on the field with Zidane head-butting Marco Materazzi. The player was shown a straight red and Italy ended up winning the game. After the game Zidane
explained that the Italian had insulted his mother, and he said there was no compromise for such an outrageous act on the Italians behalf.
However, most people choose to remember the French man for his head butt rather than the illustrious career that he had prior to that incident, which is the worst possible way to remember the French midfield magician for.



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