Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, the 45-year-old Zidane was a leading playmaker, renowned for his elegance, vision, ball control and technique, and played as an attacking midfielder for Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus and Real Madrid.
At club level, Zidane won two Serie A league championships with Juventus, which garnered him a move to Real Madrid for a world record fee of 77.5 million Euros in 2001.
In Spain, Zidane, as a player, won the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League, with his left-foot volleyed winner in the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final, considered as one of the greatest goals in the competition’s history. He also won an Intercontinental Cup and a UEFA Super Cup with both teams.
Capped 108 times by France, Zidane won the 1998 FIFA World Cup, scoring twice in the final and being named to the All-Star Team, while also winning UEFA Euro 2000, being named Player of the Tournament.
The World Cup triumph made him a national hero in France, and he received the Légion d’honneur in 1998. He also received the Golden Ball for Player of the Tournament at the 2006 World Cup, despite his infamous sending off in the final against Italy for head-butting Marco Materazzi in the chest. He retired as the fourth-most capped player in France history.
Zidane acclaimed many individual accolades as a player, being named the FIFA World Player of the Year three times, in 1998, 2000 and 2003, while also winning the 1998 Ballon d’Or.
He was Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 1996, Serie A Footballer of the Year in 2001 and La Liga Best Foreign Player in 2002.
In 2004, he was named in the FIFA 100, a list of the World’s Greatest Living Players compiled by Pelé. Zidane ranks as one of eight players to have won the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the Ballon d’Or. He was named the Best European Footballer of the Past 50 Years in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll in 2004, and he was the ambassador for Qatar’s successful bid to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the first MENA country to host the tournament.
After retiring as a player, Zidane graduated into coaching, becoming assistant coach at Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti for the 2013–14 Season. After a successful year in which the club won the UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey, Zidane became the coach of Real Madrid’s B team, Real Madrid Castilla.
He remained in the position for two years before taking the helm of the first team in January 2016. In his first two seasons as manager, Zidane won the UEFA Champions League twice, a La Liga title, a Supercopa de España, and both the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup twice. His success saw him named Best FIFA Men’s Coach in 2017.
In 2018, Zidane led Real Madrid to another UEFA Champions League, his third in a row, becoming the only coach in the history of football to win three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles.
But, a few days after the victory, he resigned as Real Madrid coach.
Culled from The Nation