Sunday, March 11, 2012
Very few people talk these days about Zinadine Zidane, the former great French player, mainly due to the fact that he only recently retired, but the game just doesn't feel the same without him. Zidane played the game with an air of invincibility, a presence that other players, even greats simply just don't have. While his scoring or assist numbers were never on par with other greats like Pele or Maradona, and some might argue that he was a bit overrated, others point to his incredible on court patience, timing, and leadership as what separated Zidane. Perhaps, no other player commanded the field like Zidane did in his prime. There was something magnetic about Zidane, the way he captured people's imagination by simply being on the field; Patrick Vieira once said of Zidane, " We always have a chance to win with him in the lineup." Zidane's quiet confidence and patience somehow separated him from his peers, because he was often seen as mysterious, and even enigmatic, but in reality those that knew him best often describe him as simply being a very shy man. His career ended on a very sour note as his temper got the best of him, when he headbutted Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final leaving many to wonder how can Zidane do such a thing in one of the biggest games of his career. While his temper did get the best of him in some instances in his career, it does not take away his other accomplishments, most notably winning the 1998 World Cup for France in their one and only title. Zidane left an impression on everyone, and it will be a long time before the game will see anyone like him again. The only thing we have of Zidane is those great memories he left us with.