Has any player in history been able to make football look less like a sport and more like an art form than Zinedine Zidane?
The French midfielder was mesmeric to watch during the late-1990s and early-2000s.
Zidane would dictate the tempo of matches, glide past opponents, score wonderful goals, produce the most sublime touches and light up stadiums with his breathtaking skill.
Younger football fans will probably know more about Zidane the coach, rather than Zidane the player, which is a big shame.
While the 49-year-old has enjoyed huge success in management with Real Madrid, it was on the pitch with a ball at his feet where he was at his most awe-inspiring.
Is Zidane’s assist v Valencia the most underrated ever?
To give you a flavour of what Zizou was capable of, let’s cast our mind back to January 2003.
This was the month Zidane produced one of his best performances in a Real Madrid shirt – against Valencia at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid won the game 4-1 thanks to goals from Ronaldo, Zidane, Guti and Javier Portillo, but it was an assist from the French World Cup winner that this particular game is best remembered for.
Zidane received the ball under pressure inside the centre-circle but escaped the challenge with an exquisite touch and turn.
He then beat another Valencia player with a trademark stepover before picking out Portillo with a perfectly weighted pass.
This was no margin for error with the through ball and Zidane somehow nailed it.
Watch the assist here:
It’s hard to think of too many better assists throughout football history. What a footballer.
The Twitter account @StopThatZizou has some golden clips of the great man.
Zidane’s assist vs Celta Vigo was also ridiculous
His assist against Valencia – which, for our money, deserves a hell of a lot more recognition – was spectacular, but check out this equally ridiculous assist from a game against Celta Vigo during the same season.
You literally have to watch the clip several times to work out what he did.
If you’re struggling to get your head around it, Zidane flicks the ball from his right leg to his left and nutmegs a defender in one lightning-quick movement.
The man was an absolute genius of a footballer.
Who should win the 2021 Balon d’Or? (Football Terrace)
Can you get full marks on our Ultimate Lionel Messi quiz?