France are currently the best international team on the planet.
Didier Deschamps’ side were crowned champions of the world in 2018 and will all but certainly be the big favourites to add the European crown to their collection at Euro 2021.
Twenty years ago, Les Bleus were also the finest international side around and they arrived at Euro 2000 with a swagger after lifting their first ever World Cup in 1998.
That team was simply wall-to-wall legends. Deschamps, Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Laurent Blanc, Marcel Desailly, Emmanuel Petit just to name a few.
But the main man was Zinedine Zidane, France’s greatest ever player and one of the best to ever lace a pair of football boots. In 2000, the Juventus and Real Madrid legend was playing football from a different planet.
Zidane was electric throughout the tournament, but it was his performance against Spain in the quarter-final that will never, ever be forgotten.
You can watch Zizou’s highlights from that game below, a match which France won 2-1 thanks to goals from Zidane and Youri Djorkaeff.
Honestly, we could watch Zidane’s free-kick ripple the net all day!
That is just a snippet of why most football fans who were lucky enough to watch Zidane in his pomp will wax lyrical about him at any given opportunity.
He had it all, the complete attacking midfielder. Spain’s litany of stars – including Pep Guardiola – just could not get near him, his first touch was that immaculate.
Down the years, some of football’s biggest names have swooned over the current Real Madrid manager.
David Beckham famously said: “To train with Zidane for three years was a dream. For me, he is the greatest player of all time.”
While Barcelona legend Ronaldinho quipped: “Zidane is one of the best footballers of all time, one of my idols. He had such elegance and grace, a wonderful touch and superb vision.”
It’s rare that a player is so universally loved, but Zidane was a footballer who comes around once every 100 years and we haven’t seen a player quite like him since he retired back in 2006.
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