Zinedine Zidane is a retired French football player and the only three-time FIFA World Player of the Year winner. Zidane received the Ballon d’Or in 1998, and in 2004 he was voted as the best European footballer of the previous 50 years in UEFA’s 50th anniversary Golden Jubilee Poll. He helped France to victories in the 1998 World Cup as well as in the 2000 European Championship, and he also captained France to the 200 World Cup Final where he was awarded with the FIFA Golden Ball as the tournament’s most outstanding player.
At the age of ten, Zidane joined the junior team of US Saint-Henri, a local club based in La Castellane. After a year and a half he switched to SO Septèmes Valons. When he was 14 years old he was selected to attend a training camp run by the French Football Federation and was spotted by a talent scout for the AS Cannes. Zidane travelled to Cannes for a six-week stay, but ended up staying with the club for four years as a pro. At first the 14 year old lived in a dormitory with other trainees, but soon he moved in with Cannes director Jean-Claude Elineau and his family. Zidane played his first Ligue 1 match for Cannes in 1989, at the age of 17. During Zidanes first full season with Cannes, the team qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time in the history of the club.
In the 1992/1993 season Zidane was transferred to Girondins de Bordeaux where he stayed until 1996. Girondins de Bordeaux won the 1995 Intertoto Cup and finished second in the 1995/1996 UEFA Cup. Zidane was transferred to Juventus for £3.2 millions in 1996.
Juventus won the 1996/1997 Serie A and the 1996 Intercontinental Cup, and finished second in the 1997 UEFA Champions League. Juventus then proceeded to win the 1997/1998 Serie A and once again finish second in the UEFA Champions League. In 2000/2001, the team finished second in Serie A. During his time with Juventus, Zidane was named Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year for both 1997 and 2001.
In 2001, Zidane signed a four year contract and transferred to Real Madrid for a record breaking transfer fee of 150 billion Italian lire (roughly €75 millions). Real Madrid won the 2002 UEFA Champions League, and in the next season Zidane helped his team secure a victory in La Liga. During Zidane’s last season for Real Madrid, he was their second highest goal scorer and assists provider with 9 goals and 10 assists over the course of 28 games. Zidane played his last home match for Real Madrid in May 2006.
- Zinedine Zidane was born in Marseille, France in 1972.
- His parents Smaïl and Malika comes from Aguemone, a village in Kabylia, a Berber-speaking part of Algeria. They emigrated to France in 1953. In Marseille, Smaïl worked as a warehouseman at a department store while Malika was a house wife.
- Zinedine grew up in La Castellane, a low-income suburb in northern Marseille.
- Zinedine has three older brothers and one older sister.
- At the age of five, Zinedine started playing football in his neighborhood.
- Zinedine is married to Véronique Fernandez. They have four sons; Enzo (born 1995), Luca (born 1998), Theo (born 2002),and Elyaz (born 2006). Enzo, Luca and Theo have joined the Real Madrid Academy.
- Zenidine has promoted several charity projects in various ways. By playing charity matches, he has helped raise money for UNICEF, for the United Nations Development Programme and for the Keuydaroon children’s AIDS charity. Zenidine is also a UN goodwill ambassador.