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Zinedine Zidane

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Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, former professional football player Zinedine Zidane was an elite playmaker renowned for his elegance, vision, passing, ball control, and technique. He received many individual accolades as a player, including being named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998, 2000 and 2003, and winning the 1998 Ballon d'Or. He recently coached Real Madrid and is one of the most successful coaches in the world.
Zidane started his career at Cannes before establishing himself as one of the best players in the French Division 1 at Bordeaux. In 1996, he moved to Juventus where he won trophies including two Serie A titles. He moved to Real Madrid for a world record fee at the time of €77.5 million in 2001, which remained unmatched for the next eight years. In Spain, Zidane won several trophies, including a La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League. In the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final, he scored a left-foot volleyed winner which is considered to be one of the greatest goals in the competition's history.
Capped 108 times by France, Zidane won the 1998 FIFA World Cup, scoring twice in the final, and was named to the All-Star Team. This triumph made him a national hero in France, and he received the Legion of Honour in 1998. He won UEFA Euro 2000, and was named Player of the Tournament. 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 headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest. He retired as the fourth-most capped player in French history.
In 2004, he was named in the FIFA 100, a list of the world's greatest living players compiled by Pelé, and in the same year was named the best European footballer of the past 50 years in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll. Zidane is one of eight players to have won the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the Ballon d'Or. He was the ambassador for Qatar's successful bid to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the first Arab country to host the tournament.
After retiring as a player, Zidane transitioned into coaching, and began his head coaching career at Real Madrid Castilla. He remained in the position for two years before taking the helm of the first team in 2016. In his initial two and a half seasons, Zidane became the first coach to win the Champions League three times consecutively, won the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup twice each, as well as a La Liga title and a Supercopa de España. This success led to Zidane being named Best FIFA Men's Coach in 2017. He resigned in 2018, but returned to the club as coach in 2019, and proceeded to win another La Liga and Supercopa de España title.
Many authoritative voices have acclaimed Zidane's skills and importance in the history of football. Labelled a “flawed genius” by ESPN, Zidane possessed an exceptional first touch, and was also known for his dribbling skills, use of feints, elegance on the ball, and creativity. He was capable of using either foot, despite being naturally right-footed. His technique and co-ordination enabled him to execute shots and volleys with extreme power and precision, in particular from outside the penalty area; he was also a free kick and penalty kick specialist. A world-class offensive playmaker, Zidane's natural position was in a free role as a classic number 10 behind the strikers. He was also capable of playing as a second striker, or in a more withdrawn role in midfield, either as a central midfielder or deep-lying playmaker, due to his ability to orchestrate his team's attacking plays from deep with his vision and passing. Thus, he was capable of both assisting and scoring goals, despite being neither the most prolific goal-scorer nor the most productive creator throughout his career. While not known for his heading ability, his height and physical strength also allowed him to be effective in the air, and saw him score several crucial headers throughout his career. He also drew praise from his managers for his defensive work-rate. Despite not being the quickest player, he possessed good agility and acceleration, as well as exceptional balance and flair on the ball; he also had an excellent positional sense and outstanding spatial awareness. Although he had a reserved and humble character, his former Juventus managers Lippi and Ancelotti also praised Zidane for being a team player, on whom his teammates could rely. Notwithstanding the acclaim that Zidane received from pundits over his playing ability, he also drew criticism in the media over his temperament and discipline, and for his occasional violent conduct on the pitch, which led to instances in which disciplinary action was taken against him; he was also accused by some in the sport of drifting in and out of games, and of lacking leadership qualities, although he was able to establish himself as a consistent and decisive player, who was also an influential captain at international level throughout his career.

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