Zinedine Yazid Zidane (born June 23, 1972, in Marseille, France), popularly known as Zizou, is a French professional football manager and former player who played as an attacking midfielder. He most recently coached Spanish club Real Madrid and is one of the most successful coaches in the world. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Zidane was a playmaker renowned for his elegance, vision, passing, ball control, and technique. He received many individual accolades as a player, including being named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998, 2000 and 2003, and winning the 1998 Ballon d'Or.
- Sometimes I don't know what takes me over during a game. Sometimes I just feel I have moved to a different place and I can make the pass, score the goal or go past my marker at will.
- Interview, June 2000 .
- It was my father who taught us that an immigrant must work twice as hard as anybody else, that he must never give up.
- Interview, 2004 
- I was lucky to come from a difficult area. It teaches you not just about football but also life. There were lots of kids from different races and poor families. People had to struggle to get through the day. Music was important. Football was the easy part.
- Interview, 2004 
- It's hard to explain but I have a need to play intensely every day, to fight every match hard. And this desire never to stop fighting is something else I learnt in the place where I grew up.
- Interview, 2004 
About Zinedine Zidane
- Zidane is the master. Over the past 10 years, there's been no-one like him, he has been the best player in the world.
- He dominates the ball, he is a walking spectacle and he plays as if he had silk gloves on each foot. He reminds me a bit of myself, although I was a bit quicker. He makes it worthwhile going to the stadium -- he's one of the best I have ever seen.
- Zidane is one of the greatest players in history, a truly magnificent player.
- Zidane is unique. The ball flows with him. He is more like a dancer than a football player.
- Technically, I think he is the king of what's fundamental in the game - control and passing. I don't think anyone can match him when it comes to controlling or receiving the ball.
- He is the best player I've seen... Playing alongside him was a crazy thing! Supporters arrived earlier at the Bernabeu just to see him warm-up.
- Zidane was from another planet. When Zidane stepped onto the pitch, the 10 other guys just got suddenly better. It is that simple.
- You look at Zidane and think 'I've never seen a player quite like that'. Diego Maradona was a great player. Johan Cruyff was a great player. They were different - but with similarities. What sets Zidane apart is the way he manipulates a football, buying himself space that isn't there. Add his vision and it makes him very special.
- In France, everybody realized that God exists, and that he is back in the French international team. God is back, there is little left to say.
- He thinks in one second and does it the next. He is a special player, one who is original and exceptional. He creates space where there is none. Only the very best players can do that. No matter where he gets the ball or how it comes to him, Zidane can get out of trouble. His imagination and his technique are amazing.
- I really enjoy watching Zinedine Zidane. His elegance of movement on the pitch and his skills are uncanny. Apart from being an impressive player, he is also very humble and very likeable as a person. A great man.
- Zidane is probably the best player there has been in the past 20 years … France have recovered the best Zidane and they have progressively grown throughout this tournament.
- The greatest player of the past 20 years? It has to be Zidane. He had everything. You never needed to tell him anything as he did it all by himself and knew what was expected.
- Zidane has won that award because of what he has done on the pitch - he was the best … I have always admired Zidane … In fact I have one of his shirts in my closet - we exchanged our shirts after a Juventus v Perugia game.
- Nobody knows if Zidane is an angel or demon. He smiles like Saint Teresa and grimaces like a serial killer.
- If Zizou kept his temper, he would not be the genius that he is
- I think it was really a difficult situation for him. His career was ending in 10 minutes and I think trying to come to terms with that and at the same time win a World Cup was . . . it would be just so difficult emotionally and he was probably on the edge without being provoked and then to be provoked probably was just too much for him. I can completely understand how difficult that would be. I think he probably faced some shame, embarrassment, disappointment; but I also think he feels like the guy made some awful remarks and his action was warranted. I don't think he wants the kids to see that, but I also don't think he regrets it. It's tough -- he's one of the top three players to play the game. He's already won the European Cup, the World Cup and I think everyone, his teammates included, idolize him in his country, so I think he'll be quickly forgiven.