Arsene Wenger vs Zinedine Zidane photo went viral after charity match

  • Rob Swan

Arsene Wenger had a relatively modest playing career compared to the legendary Zinedine Zidane.

Wenger played for several clubs including RC Strasbourg, where he won the First Division title in 1979, but never represented France at international level.

Zidane, on the other hand, famously played for Juventus and Real Madrid and inspired Les Bleus to glory in the 1998 World Cup final against Brazil.

He won just about everything there is to win in football from both a team and individual perspective, including the Ballon d’Or.

Zidane is also 22 years younger than Wenger, who celebrates his 72nd birthday this month (October 2021), so football fans were left scratching their heads when an unexpected image from a charity match spread across social media like wildfire in May 2019.

The photo showed Wenger getting away from Zidane, who had his left arm on his ageing compatriot, with the ball close to him.

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Surely - surely! - Wenger hadn’t mugged off one of the all-time greats in front of a crowd in a charity match? It had to be too good to be true.

Did Wenger really leave Zidane for dead?

Alas, yes, the photo didn’t exactly paint the full picture.

Footage from the stands captured the moment Wenger found himself one-on-one with Zizou.

After intercepting the ball, Wenger inexplicably turned into danger with Zidane hot on his heels.


Despite his advancing years, Wenger backed his pace to get him out of trouble and dribbled towards the touchline.

But one particularly heavy touch let him down and Zidane robbed the former Arsenal boss of possession before finding a teammate.

Watch the footage here:

Still, Wenger momentarily had the better of Zidane, as the viral photograph shows, and we’re sure he’s told everyone who’ll listen since then.

FIFA’s current Chief of Global Football Development has probably got the photo framed in his office.

Let’s be honest: we all would if we were in Wenger’s shoes!


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