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8 of the most memorable moments from Zinedine Zidane's playing career

The French playing legend makes his managerial debut tonight with Real Madrid.

Zidane starred as a player for Real Madrid, can he do likewise as a manager?
Zidane starred as a player for Real Madrid, can he do likewise as a manager?

HE DID IT all as a player and now Zinedine Zidane is trying his hand at management.

Zizou makes his bow as Real Madrid coach tonight at home to Deportivo La Coruna.

Before we see what he’s like patrolling the touchline, here’s a reminder of how jaw-droppingly good he was during his playing days.

1. Starring on his international debut in 1994

2-0 down against the Czech Republic, Zidane was sprung from the bench for his first French senior cap. He made his presence felt by hitting the net twice, including this screamer.

Zidane Czech Republic.gif Source: YouTube

2. Wreaking havoc on Ajax in 1997

Juventus may not have won the 1996-97 Champions League final but Zidane gave a virtuoso display in the semi-final against Ajax with his dazzling trickery resulting in this goal

Source: YouTube

3. World Cup final headers in 1998

What better way to become a national hero than heading home a brace in the World Cup final played in your country’s capital city and pave the way for them to become world champions for the first time?

Source: markoasroma/YouTube

4. Leading Portugal a merry dance in 2000

More international glory for France came in Euro 2000 and aside from netting the winner from the penalty spot in the semi-final against Portugal, Zidane was a menace throughout that match.

Source: rfuna84/YouTube

5. THAT wonder strike against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002

This Champions League final effort for Real Madrid needs little introduction.

Source: Quan Pham/YouTube

6. Breaking English hearts in 2004

France were in trouble as they trailed England in their Euro 2004 opener. But despite time running out, Zidane was still capable of conjuring up a brace from set pieces.

Source: br hamza top/YouTube

7. A panenka in the 2006 World Cup final

Why score a straightforward penalty when you can nervelessly net one like this against Italy?

Source: Footy-Goals.Com/YouTube

8. THAT World Cup final headbutt

Okay so it wasn’t his finest moment but let’s face it, it’s still not one that you’ll easily forget. The red mist descends on Zizou and Marco Materazzi bears the brunt.

Source: metallica018/YouTube

What are your memories of Zinedine Zidane’s playing career? Let us know in the comments section below.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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