Premier League

Zinedine Zidane rolls back the years with vintage showing in charity game


Zinedine Zidane rolled back the years during a charity game on Saturday, mesmerising fans at the Santiago Bernabeu almost two decades after he hung up his boots.

The legendary Ballon d’Or and World Cup winning midfielder retired shortly after turning 34 in the summer of 2006 following the World Cup in Germany – infamously sent off in his last ever professional game after violently headbutting Italy centre-back Marco Materazzi in the chest.

Prior to that shocking end to his career, Zidane was widely regarded as the best midfielder of his generation, and one the greatest footballers to ever play the game.

The France superstar’s flair for the spectacular in clutch moments – notably his headed brace in the 1998 World Cup final and stunning volley which won Real Madrid the 2002 UEFA Champions League – and his unrivalled control and grace on the ball are what made him a truly special player.

And 18 years on from his retirement as a player, amazingly it seems that Zidane hasn’t lost an ounce of that class on the ball.


Classy as ever / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/GettyImages

Taking part in a charity game at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, featuring for a Real Madrid Legends side alongside Raul, Luis Figo and Roberto Carlos among others against a Porto Legends side, Zidane was in stunning form.

Although his team would lose the game, Zidane caught the eye with a number of deft touches and flicks in the middle of the park, drifting past his contemporaries with ease throughout the game.

As well as starring in charity games, the France footballing legend has also been heavily linked with a return to management in recent months.

Speaking at a recent event, Zidane admitted he would be particularly open to managing in Italy amid links with his former club Juventus.

“Anything could happen. I would like to coach in Italy one day,” he said.

“I am not coaching at the moment, but why not? I like Italy and I like that they love football in Italy.”


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