Zidane had won the World Cup and European Championships with France
In his final season at Juventus he was sent off for head butting Jochen Kientz, of Hamburger SV, in a Champions League group game. It would not be the last time Zidane would head butt an opponent! Juventus didn’t make it out of the group stages of the Champions League that season but they finished runners up in the league.
He left Italy at the end of the 2000-01 season after scoring 24 goals in 151 games for Juventus and being named Foreign Footballer of the Year twice.
Becoming a Galactico
In the summer of 2001, Real Madrid paid €75m for Zidane, making him the most expensive player in the world. At Madrid he became part of the Galacticos, the best and most expensive players in world football.
In his first season, Madrid finished a disappointing third in the league, nine points behind champions, Valencia. The season finished on a high though as Zidane reached the third Champions League final of his career.
2002 Champions League final
The final was against German side, Bayer Leverkusen. It was also one of the most memorable nights of his career and he put in a man of the match performance when it mattered most, just as he had done four years earlier in the world cup final.
The highlight of the match came just before half time. The score was 1-1 after early goals from Raúl and Lúcio. Roberto Carlos chased the ball down the left flank and looped over a speculative cross. It dropped from the sky to the edge of the area where Zidane was waiting. He struck the ball on the volley with his left foot. It flew like a rocket into the top corner of the goal and put Madrid 2-1 in front.
It turned out to be the winning goal which was fitting as it was worthy of winning any competition. A mixture of the quality of the strike, the importance of the occasion and the fact that it was Zidane who scored it has ensured that it is now one of the most memorable goals in the history of the Champions League.
It was a great night for Zidane and he now finally had the greatest prize in club football to put alongside his domestic titles and international honours.
La Liga title
The following season Zidane completed his collection of top flight trophies by helping Madrid to the La Liga title. They finished two points ahead of second placed Real Sociadad.
He also emulated his club mate, Ronaldo, by being named FIFA World Player of the Year for the third time. He finished ahead of international teammate, Thierry Henry and Real teammate, Ronaldo.
The La Liga title in 2003 was the last trophy Zidane won with Real Madrid. However, he won several personal accolades and was named FIFPro World XI All-Star team twice, IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker and UEFA Best European Player of the Past 50 Years at the UEFA Golden Jubilee. Drama at World Cup 2006 – Read more