Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Merci Zizou! For Everything

The two opposites of Zidane's Career - The volley for Real Madrid in 2002 CL Finals and the red card in WC 2006 finals

Every world cup has moments which become imprinted on one's mind. In WC 2002, it was Batistuta crying on the ground after Argentina's first round exit. In WC 2006, it was Zidane's head butt. One moment of madness leaving a blemish on one of the gr8est careers in soccer.

Initially, I hated Zidane. As a life long Brazil fan, he denied us the Penta in 1998. But it also sparked an interest in Zizou. I followed him on & off when he played for Juventus and in Euro 2000 but in 2002, Zizou came to Real Madrid-the gr8est club on the planet. 2002 was an amazing year and to see Zizou in action was surreal. Soccer has seen many players who can dribble but no one like Zidane. He didn't dribble, he became one with the ball and the ball refuesd to leave his feet.

Then came WC 2002 and France were favourites with Zidane at his best. But his injury resulted in French exit in first round. Euro 2004 was again supposed to be his last tournament for the country and France were the favourites but couldn't get pass the Greeks.

WC 2006 and nobody gave French a chance. Brazil led by Ronaldinho were the favourites (again) but unfortunately they ran into France and Zidane showed that Ronaldinho is gr8 but Zidane is God. Finally, the WC finals and Zidane had a chance to do something that not even Maradona had achieved - Win 2 world cups. But maybe he decided to show in his last match that he was a human too, that he had emotions. If only he hadn't done what he did.

Still, Zidane remains at the top alongside Pele, Maradona, Di Stefano as the most beautiful players to play soccer. In the forword to El Diego - The Autobiography of Diego Maradona, the journalist says "Our generation weren't told that Maradona was the best. We saw him in action." We can say the same thing abt Zizou.


kaddy said...

hey BTW.. whom did u support in the finals, Italy or France???

GuNs said...

Hey man !
Good to see you blogging again. You had been on a sabbatical for some time. I kept checking your blog but never found anything new.

This is good and you are right. Zidane was the greatest in this generation. But you forgot to mention another person who was as great, if not greater than Zidane for his playmaking AND his stature on the pitch. My favourite player, Dennis Bergkamp !!

Bergkamp gone, Rivaldo gone, Zidane gone, Maldini gone....suddenly I dont feel like watching soccer anymore !


Someone said...

@Kaddy - Initially I supported Brazil & Spain. But after their exit, I supported France as Zizou deserved to go with the WC after his performances.

@Guns - Bergkamp was a beautiful player. His goal to knock Argentina out of WC 98 was awesome. I agree abt the retirements but the next gen is here - Ronaldinho, Messi, Fabregas, Kaka etc.

Vader said...

You never stop bragging about Real Madrid being the greatest club on the planet.
Good to see you blogging again ...

Someone said...

9 European Cups
29 La Liga Titles
Players like Di Stefano, Puskas, Zidane
Name ne club that comes close ?

Supraj said...

I am going to watch out for Messi.