Zinedine Zidane was considered by many to be the greatest player of his generation. He played for the great Real Madrid side nicknamed the ‘Galacticos’.
In a team that contained such talents as Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Raúl, David Beckham and Roberto Carlos, it was Zidane who stood out as the best of them all.
He won several of the most important trophies in the game and was always one of the key driving forces behind those victories.
Professional debut aged 17
He started his career in Cannes where he made his debut aged 17 in 1989. In his first full season with the club, they finished fourth in the league to qualify for the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history. It remains their highest league finish in the post war era. Zidane scored six goals in 61 games before moving to Bordeaux.
He joined Bordeaux in 1992 where he played with future national teammates, Christophe Dugarry and Bixente Lizarazu.
He got his first taste of victory with Bordeaux, winning the Intertoto Cup in 1995. That win meant they qualified for the UEFA Cup that season. Zidane helped the team reach the final of the competition but they were beaten 5-1 on aggregate by Bayern Munich.
First international tournament
Zidane made his international debut in 1994 in a friendly against the Czech Republic. He made an impact in his first game with two goals in a 2-2 draw. He became a regular in the team in 1995, when Eric Cantona was banned for assaulting a fan.
In 1996, he went to his first international tournament, the European Championships in England. He played in every game and scored in two penalty shootouts but France lost in the semi final to the Czech Republic.
Joining Italian giants, Juventus
By now he was on the radar of the elite clubs of Europe. English champions, Blackburn Rovers, had expressed an interest in signing him in 1995 but it came to nothing. The following year, he moved to European champions, Juventus.
Zidane won the Serie A title in his first season with Juventus. They also won the Intercontinental cup and reached the final of the Champions League where they lost 3-1 against Borussia Dortmund.
They put that disappointment behind them the following year and won the Serie A title for a second year running and reached the Champions League final for the third year in a row. Unfortunately for Zidane they lost that game as well, 1-0 against Real Madrid. World Cup France 1998 – Read more