Zinedine Zidane reveals his best-ever game. The legendary French midfielder, best remembered for his spells for Real Madrid, Juventus, and the French national team recently spoke about the best performance of his career.
When asked about his “best-ever” game, Zidane said, “There are a lot of them. There are important matches where people recognise each other. Most of the time, people always come out with the same games but I have one in particular that speaks to me. I wasn’t in Madrid, I was at Juventus.”
“It was a Champions League semi-final against Ajax . We won 1-2 in the first leg and 4-1 in the return. The team had been exceptional and I had been more than good. On the pitch, It was like I was on a cloud,” he added.
Zidane said that his performance in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Ajax was his best ever. He dazzled the Ajax defenders in front of 62,000 fans at Stadio Olimpico di Torino, where he started at the top of the midfield in a 4-4-2 diamond formation.
Zinedine Zidane vs. Ajax, 1997.
What a goal! 🥵 pic.twitter.com/01VJNLjUgu
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Juventus reached the UEFA Champions League final in 1997, but they were defeated by Borussia Dortmund 3-1. Karl-Heinz Riedle and Lars Ricken scored two goals each for Dortmund, while Alessandro Del Piero scored the only goal for Juventus.
During his time at Juventus, Zidane played 227 games, scoring 49 goals and providing 68 assists. He was named the FIFA World Player of the Year twice and won the Ballon d’Or in 1998.
Zinedine Zidane’s Last Game
Zidane, who turns 51, played his last professional game in the biggest game of all, the FIFA World Cup Final 2006. France faced a rigid Italian side, which had defeated the host Germany in the semifinals.
The final started with both teams scoring within the first 20 minutes, making it the only World Cup final from 1990 to 2014 in which both finalists scored. Zidane and Italian defender Marco Materazzi scored the goals. The match went to extra time after 90 minutes.
In extra time, soccer fans saw one of the most controversial moments in FIFA World Cup history when Zinedine Zidane was shown a red card for headbutting Marco Materazzi.
“Zidane offered me his jersey and I said ‘No, I prefer your sister,’” Marco Materazzi recalls infamous headbutt he received.
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The referee and his assistants did not see the incident, but Referee Elizondo consulted the fourth official, who confirmed it. Elizondo then issued Zidane a red card in the 110th minute. Italy went on to win the final on penalties. Zidane won the Golden Ball Award for being the best player at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Zidane’s Golden Ball win was a bittersweet moment. He had played a masterful tournament, scoring three goals and setting up another two. However, his red card in the final meant that he could not help his team to victory. In the end, Zidane had to settle for individual glory, while his team had to accept defeat.