Zinedine Zidane is an incredible manager, but he was an even better player.
And he showed that in France’s World Cup quarter-final match against Brazil in 2006.
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After Les Bleus struggled to qualify for the finals, manager Raymond Domenech urged an ageing Zidane to come out of retirement.
Zidane accepted his request and he was named captain of the national side.
France and Zidane would have a slow start to the campaign, but they still qualified for the knockout rounds after beating Togo in their final group game.
Domenech’s side then defeated Spain in the last-16 to book their place in the quarter-finals.
Their reward was a last-eight showdown against Brazil; the defending champions.
France went into the game as the underdogs. They weren’t playing well at all, while Brazil had won all four of their games in the tournament.
Everything pointed to a win for Brazil. But Zidane had other ideas.
The Real Madrid legend, who was now 34, produced one of the greatest performances of his career as France won 1-0.
Zidane really was untouchable that day. His highlights from the game are being shared on twitter and you can watch them below.
And for a longer-version of his great performance, watch below…
There were so many world-class players in that Brazil team. Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka all featured for the South Americans.
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But none of them could get anywhere near Zidane that day. He was past his peak but he still managed to teach them a lesson in greatness.
Football fans have been reminiscing about that performance over on Twitter.
Unfortunately, as everyone probably already knows, the tournament didn’t end well for Zidane.
France beat Portugal 1-0 in the semi-finals to set up a game with Italy in the final.
But Zidane produced that inexplicable headbutt on Marco Materazzi, marking an incredible end to his professional career.
And to make matters worse, France would lose on penalties to the Azzurri.
We really did see the very best and the very worst of Zidane in that World Cup.
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