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Athlete French football player Zinedine Zidane pictures (pic) and photo gallery.
Birth name: Zinedine Yazid Zidane.
Born: June 23, 1972 Marseille, France.
Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in).
Playing position: Attacking midfielder.

Zinedine Zidane biography (bio):
Zinedine Yazid Zidane is popularly nicknamed Zizou, is a retired French football player of Algerian descent, famous for leading France to winning the 1998 World Cup. He was a midfielder who played for four European clubs, including Juventus FC and Real Madrid. As a member and later captain of the French national team he participated in two World Cup finals - including winning the tournament in 1998 - and in three European Championships, winning that tournament in 2000.
Having gained fame in Europe as a playmaker for Juventus, Zidane attracted worldwide attention in the 1998 World Cup final with two headed goals against Brazil which won his country its first FIFA World Cup. He also contributed to France's victory in Euro 2000, and at the club level he went on to win domestic championships in Italy and Spain with Juventus and Real Madrid respectively. In the final of the 2001-02 UEFA Champions League he scored the winning goal for Real Madrid. At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he was named "Most Outstanding Player" of the tournament, receiving the Golden Ball, captaining the French side that reached the final. However, Zidane's career ended in controversy as he was dismissed in extra-time of the 2006 Final for headbutting Italian defender Marco Materazzi.
Zidane was elected FIFA World Player of the Year a record-equalling three times (1998, 2000, 2003), finished in the top-three an additional three times (1997, 2002, 2006). He was also named European Footballer of the Year in 1998. The world-record fee of 66 million (US$87 million, 47 million) for his transfer to Real Madrid in 2001 is the highest ever paid. In 2004, he topped the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll as the "Best European football player of the past 50 years", and was included in the FIFA 100, Pel's list of the 125 greatest living footballers.
As originally announced on 25 April 2006,[ Zidane retired from professional football after the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Zidane was born in Marseille on 23 June 1972 as the youngest of five children, and was raised in La Castellane, a government-sponsored housing project (cit HLM) in the city's northern suburbs (the Quartier Nord). His parents, Ismail and Malika are Berbers (Kabyle) from the village of Aguemone, Algeria, from where they immigrated to France. In 1993, Zidane married Vronique Zidane (born Lentisco), a former French dancer of Spanish origin whose parents live in Rodez, Aveyron, France. They have four sons: Enzo (born 24 March 1995 and named after the Uruguayan Football player Enzo Francescoli, Zidane's childhood hero,), Luca (born 13 May 1998, Tho (born 18 May 2002), and lyaz (born 26 December 2005).

Name and Ancestry:
Zidane's name is of Arabic origin (Algerian Arabic: Zīn ad-Dīn Yazīd Zīdān, Arabic: زين الدين يزيد زيدان, transliteration: Zayn-u-Dīn Yazīd Zaydān). Zindine translates to "the beauty of the religion" (Arabic Zayn-u-Dīnfrom zayn, "beauty", and dīn, "religion; faith"). Yazid is a boy's name, sometimes spelled Yazeed (Arabic Yazīd, "one who increases, becoming greater"). Zidane is expressing the overabundance of something that the bearer of name is said to possess, such as talent (Arabic Zaydānfrom zayd, "overabundant", and an, "two"). The nickname Zizou was given to Zidane by coach Rolland Courbis while Zidane played for Girondins de Bordeaux. Yaz is the nickname given to him by his brothers and used by his family and close friends.
Allegations by members of controversial French right-wing party Front National that Zidane's father was a Harki (an Algerian who fought for the French during the Algerian War of Independence), have been strongly denied by Zidane. He is said to be very proud of his family and his ancestry, identifying himself as "first, a Kabyle from La Castellane, then an Algerian from Marseille, and then a Frenchman."

Club career:

Early career, Cannes and Bordeaux (19881996):
Zidane got his start in football at a young age when he joined the junior team of US Saint-Henri, his local club in the La Castellane district of Marseille. At the age of 14, Zidane left Septemes and participated in the first year junior selection for the league championship, where Jean Varraud, AS Cannes' recruiter, took notice of him. Zidane went to Cannes for what was intended to be a six-week stay, but remained at the club for four years to play with professionals. Showing the determination of an athlete who wanted to exceed expectations, Zidane played his first game in First Division at the age of 17, and it was from then that football went from an ambition to a passion. The Cannes midfielder scored his first goal on 8 February 1991 (he received a Clio as a promise from the Cannes President, who promised him a car when he scored his first goal as a professional), and his first season with the club was marked by a qualification for the UEFA Cup. Zidane's second season with Cannes was not as promising, but on the non-professional front he met his future wife Veronique, a Spanish dancer. Afterwards, Zidane spent four years with FC Girondins de Bordeaux, leading them to victory in the 1995 Intertoto Cup and to a 2nd place in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup tournament. In Bordeaux, he met Bixente Lizarazu and Christophe Dugarry, with whom he played a set of midfield combinations that would become the trademark of both Bordeaux and the 1998 French national team. In 1996, he was transferred to Italy's Juventus F.C. for a fee of 3 million.

Turin and Madrid (19962006):
Further information might be found on the talk page or at requests for expansion.
This article has been tagged since March 2007.
At Juventus, Zidane was one of the top players and playmaker of Marcello Lippi's team, along with Didier Deschamps, Alessandro Del Piero, Angelo Di Livio, Ciro Ferrara and Edgar Davids. His team won two Serie A titles and reached UEFA Champions League finals consecutively, in 1997 and 1998, losing both.
In 2001, Zidane was transferred to Real Madrid on a four-year contract. The transfer fee was 66m, around 45.6m, the highest in football history. His fellow Galacticos at Madrid included Ral, Lus Figo, Roberto Carlos, and later Ronaldo and David Beckham. He scored a spectacular winning volley in a 2-1 win over the German team Bayer Leverkusen in the 2001-2002 Champions League final at Glasgow's Hampden Park.
On 7 May 2006, Zidane played his last home game for Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabu stadium. His team-mates wore special jerseys that had ZIDANE 20012006 written on the bottom of the club logo. The Real Madrid fans gave him a warm reception and kept cheering him throughout the game. The opposing team was Villarreal CF, and the game ended in a 3-3 draw, where he scored the second goal for Real Madrid. After the game, Zidane swapped jerseys with Juan Romn Riquelme, the Villarreal CF and Argentinean midfielder. Zidane was given an ovation by spectators chanting "merci", which left him in tears.

Interest from MLS:
On 16 April 2007, Los Angeles Galaxy General Manager Alexi Lalas stated that he had made an offer to Zidane to sign with the MLS club. Zidane has not yet publicly announced any decision, but has stated that he would not be interested in coming out of retirement for less than $19 million a year (Beckham's base salary is $6.5 million). The Chicago Fire have also expressed interest in signing Zidane, but are also still awaiting an answer.

International career:
Zidane holds dual citizenship of both France and Algeria, and therefore could have played for Algeria. However, coach Abdelhamid Kermali denied him a position on the team, arguing that the young midfielder was not fast enough. This rumor was dismissed by Zidane himself though, saying it was not possible for it to happen as he had already played for France before.
He earned his first cap with the French national football team on 17 August 1994, coming on as a substitute in the 63rd minute of a friendly match against the Czech Republic. France was behind 0-2 when Zidane came on and scored two goals for a 2-2 draw.
At that time, manager Aim Jacquet had planned to field the team around Manchester United star ric Cantona, but after Cantona earned a year long suspension in January of 1995 (he launched a 'kung-fu' style kick against an allegedly abusive Crystal Palace fan, Matthew Simmons), Jacquet rearranged the team and positioned Zidane as playmaker. Despite criticism from fans and pundits regarding the choice of players, France made it to the semi-finals of the Euro 1996, where the Czechs beat France on 6-5 on penalties (0-0 after extra time).
In 1995 Zinedine Zidane might have become another high profile signing for Blackburn Rovers during the Jack Walker era. Kenny Dalglish had wanted to sign both Zidane and Christophe Dugarry who were playing in France for FC Girondins de Bordeaux, however Walker reportedly said to Dalglish: "Why do you want to sign Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?"

1998 World Cup:
Zidane was a member of the French national football team that won the 1998 FIFA World Cup. During France's second match of the first round, he received a red card and a two-game suspension in a 4-0 win over Saudi Arabia for stomping on Saudi Arabia's team captain Fuad Amin. Reports from people close to Zidane stated that Amin had provoked him verbally. This incident was much like the incident to follow, in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. After scoring in the penalty shootout in the quarter-final against Italy, he scored his only other goals of the tournament in the final against Brazil; both goals were headers off corner kicks during the first half. France won the match 3-0 and obtained their first and only World Cup title.

2000 European Championship:
In the Euro 2000 tournament, Zidane helped his team reach the final with inspired play and important goals. He scored a direct free kick in the quarter-final against Spain and a golden goal penalty in the semi-final against Portugal. France went on to win the tournament by defeating Italy in the final, making it the first team in 26 years to hold both the World Cup and the European Cup (since Germany held both titles in 1974). Subsequently, his team was ranked 1st in the world.

Injuries, retirement, and comeback (20022006):
A thigh injury prevented Zidane from playing in France's first two matches of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He rushed back from his injury to play in the third game, but could not perform at his usual level. France was eliminated in the first round without scoring a single goal, and the attempt at defending the World Cup title was unsuccessful.
In the Euro 2004 tournament, Zidane and his team started strongly, and he scored a free kick and a penalty in a come-from-behind victory against England in the group stage. On 12 June 2004, after France was upset in the quarter-finals to the eventual winners, the Greek national football team, Zidane retired from international football.
However, after France experienced problems in qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Zidane announced on 3 August 2005 that he was coming back to play for France and was reinstated as captain of the national team. He made his competitive return in the 3-0 FIFA World Cup qualifier win against the Faroe Islands on 3 September 2005, and France went on to win their qualifying group.
On 25 April 2006, after an injury-plagued season at Real Madrid, Zidane announced that he would retire from professional football following the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany.
On 27 May 2006, Zidane earned his 100th cap for France in a 1-0 victory over Mexico at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on the outskirts of Paris. It was his last match in the stadium, and he became the fourth French player after Marcel Desailly, Didier Deschamps and Lilian Thuram to earn a hundred national caps. He was substituted early in the second half.

2006 World Cup:
In the closing minutes of France's second match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, against South Korea, Zidane received a yellow card for pushing a Korean defender, his second booking of the tournament. As a result, he was suspended from the third and final match of the group stage. France nonetheless beat Togo 2-0, allowing Zidane to play in the knockout stage, from which he would score or assist in every match afterwards. He returned to the pitch in the Round of the 16th match against Spain. Zidane set up Patrick Vieira for the second goal by sending a free kick into the penalty area. He scored a wonderful goal against Spain in the 91st minute after going down the left wing then firing the ball past Casillas.
The win sent France into a quarter-final against defending champions Brazil, in a rematch of the 1998 final. Zidane's set piece free-kick led to a goal by Thierry Henry, who was unmarked, giving France a 1-0 win over the Seleo. He was named Man of the Match by FIFA's Technical Study Group. In the semi-final against Portugal four days later, Zidane scored a penalty kick against Ricardo for the only goal of the match and saw France through to the final against Italy.
On 9 July, Zidane played his second World Cup finalhis final gameand scored in the 7th minute from the penalty spot with a chip shot that hit the crossbar before narrowly bouncing behind the goal line, and then bouncing out again. He became one of only four footballers to achieve the feat of scoring in two different World Cup finals, sharing the honour with Pel, Paul Breitner, and Vav. This goal also made him one of the top goalscorers in World Cup final matches, with 3 goals, tied for first place with Vav, Geoff Hurst and Pel. He was sent off in the 110th minute, and thus did not participate in the penalty shootout which Italy won 5-3. Despite the subsequent controversy over his offence in the final, Zidane was awarded the Golden Ball as Best Player in the 2006 World Cup.

Possible comeback:
It has been suggested that Zidane is lined up as a possible guest player in the A-league team Sydney FC, with ex-Real Madrid teammate David Beckham's Los Angeles Galaxy as an opponent, in a one-off invitational match in November 27, 2007, at the Telstra Stadium. According to Sydney's Daily Telegraph, talks to bring Zidane in as Sydney's guest player for the season "are at an early stage". But they say the approach is serious and Zidane is genuinely interested.

Discipline:
Zidane has shown a quick temper on the pitch. On top of his World Cup send-offs (in 1998 and 2006), he headbutted Jochen Kientz in a 2000/2001 Champions League match between Juventus and Hamburger SV, for which he was also sent off.[14] Overall, he was sent off 14 times in his career.
He is one of four players that have been sent off in a World Cup final, one of two players that have been sent off during two different World Cup tournaments (the other player being Cameroon's Rigobert Song) and the only player ever to be sent off during extra time of a World Cup final.

Confrontation with Marco Materazzi:
In the 110th minute of the 2006 World Cup final against Italy, Zidane was sent off for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest in an off the ball incident. The two players exchanged words before Zidane began to walk away from him. Materazzi said, "I prefer the whore that is your sister," to Zidane, who turned around, made a run-up and head-butted Materazzi in the chest, sending him to the ground. Although play was halted, referee Horacio Elizondo did not appear to have seen the confrontation. According to match officials' reports, Fourth official Luis Medina Cantalejo informed Elizondo of the incident through his earphones. After consulting his assistant referees, Elizondo showed Zidane the red card and sent him off.

Provocation:
Since video footage suggested that Materazzi had provoked Zidane, newspapers had lip readers try to determine what Materazzi had said, The Times reporting that he called Zidane "the son of a terrorist whore" before adding "so just fuck off". In his first, highly awaited comments since the World Cup final, the French football star only partly explained what caused him to react in fury and head-butt an Italian opponent: repeated harsh insults about his mother and sister. Materazzi admitted insulting Zidane, but said that Zidane's behaviour had been very arrogant. He stressed that the insults had been trivial. Materazzi also insisted that he did not insult Zidane's mother, who was ill at the time, claiming that "I didn't talk about his mother, either. I lost my mother when I was 15, and even now I still get emotional talking about her," (World Soccer Magazine, August 2006). Zidane later stated that Materazzi had seriously and repeatedly insulted his mother and his sister and that he would "rather have taken a blow to the face than hear that". He also apologized to viewers, particularly children and educators, but said that he did not regret his offence because he felt that this would condone Materazzi's actions. Two months later, in continuing to assert that his comments had been trivial, Materazzi refused to apologize to Zidane, but stated his desire for reconciliation. He also offered his version of events, claiming that after he had grabbed Zidane's jersey, Zidane offered it to him sarcastically, and that he replied to Zidane that he would prefer his sister. Materazzi later confimed in an interview that his precise words to Zidane were: "I'd prefer your whore of a sister."

Reactions:
After the final, the then President of France Jacques Chirac hailed Zidane as a national hero and called him a "man of heart and conviction". Chirac later added that he found the offence to be unacceptable, but that he understood that Zidane had been provoked. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria expressed his solidarity with Zidane in a letter of support. French newspaper Le Figaro called the headbutt "odious" and "unacceptable". The editor-in-chief of French sports daily L'quipe compared Zidane's greatness to Muhammad Ali's, but added that Ali, Jesse Owens, and Pel had never "broken the most elementary rules of sport" as Zidane had. He questioned how Zidane could explain the offence to "millions of children around the world", but apologized the following day. A commentator for TIME magazine regarded the incident as a symbol for Europe's "grappling with multi-culturalism". Zidane's sponsors announced that they would stick with him. The incident was extensively lampooned on the Internet and in popular culture; "Coup de Boule", a novelty song written about the incident, reached the top of the French charts. Zidane also appeared in Family Guy giving a birthday telegram to an elder women and headbutts her when she answers the door and throws the cake on her head whilst saying "Bon Anniversaire".

FIFA investigation:
In light of Zidane's statements, FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings to investigate the incident. FIFA also affirmed the legality of Horacio Elizondo's decision to send Zidane off, rejecting claims that fourth official Luis Medina Cantalejo had illegally relied on video transmission before informing Elizondo about Zidane's misconduct. As a result of its investigation, FIFA issued a CHF5000 ($4,117) fine and a two-match ban against Materazzi, while Zidane received a three-match ban and a CHF7500 ($6,176) fine. According to FIFA, both players had stressed that Materazzi's comments had been defamatory, but not of a racist nature. Since Zidane was already retired at the time, he voluntarily served three days of community service on FIFA's behalf, as a substitute for the three-match ban.

Charity activities:
On 24 February 2007, Zidane dazzled more than 10,000 fans at a charity match in northern Thailand for the Keuydaroon charity for children with HIV/AIDS. Zidane scored the first goal by chipping the ball over the goalkeeper's head in the 36th minute before setting up the second for a Malaysian team-mate. The final score was 2-2. The event raised ฿260,000 ($7,750) for the charity.
On 19 March 2007 Zinedine Zidane made his first appearance on a European pitch since retiring following The World Cup 2006 final in a charity game at Marseilles Stade Velodrome. Zidane, who captained one team of celebrities, played against another team of famous personalities captained by his ex- Real Madrid team mate and good friend Ronaldo. The Match Against Poverty, was played under the aegis of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and was won by Zidane and his team 6-2. Zidane, who is currently a good will ambassador for U.N.D.P, stated before the game everyone can do something to make the world a better place. Zidane himself didnt score any goals but set up his teams third goal in the 70th minute which was scored by French comic actor Jamel Debbouze.

Awards, honours, and appointments:
In 2004, Forbes magazine had named him the 42nd highest paid athlete in the world at earnings of US$15.8 million a year. Zidane is the President for Life for Nouvelle Vague, a club in Marseille coached by his brother Farid (فريد). In 2001, Zidane was appointed as the United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador for the fight against poverty. Since 2000, Zidane has been consistently voted one of the most popular French personalities in newspaper polls. He was voted most popular in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2006, second most popular in 2005, and fourth most popular in 2001 and in 2002.
In November 2006, Zidane toured Bangladesh as the guest of Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.

Sponsorships:
Zidane has had sponsorship deals with companies including Adidas, Lego, Danone, Arentrella, Generali, France Tlcom, Orange, Audi, Ford and Christian Dior. Sponsorship deals like these earned him 8.6 million on top of his 6.4 million Real Madrid salary in the 2005-06 season, making him the sixth highest paid football player.
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