Zidane put up a stellar performance that inspired France to walkover defending champions Brazil in the 2006 FIFA World Cup with ease.
He played as if he was possessed and he was peerless on the field despite his opponents parading star-studded players in Ronaldo, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Ze Roberto, Roberto Carlos, Cafu, Robinho, etc.
He completely neutralized the Brazilians and almost single-handedly ran the game from the midfield position. He controlled the tempo and time after time would do the most subtle and beautiful movements to create space for himself and his teammates. Words can’t describe the ease with which he made the Brazilians look like second class footballers.
Zinedine Zidane dribbled the Brazilians with ease and gave several key passes that could have led to another massacre, after leading the Europeans to beat Brazil 3-0 in 1998.
The Real Madrid midfielder at the time crowned the day by putting his teammate Thierry Henry through to score the only goal of the game.
His Real Madrid teammate Robinho who was so much enthused with the standout display embraced him from the back at half-time.
This heroic moment of Zidane surprising happened eight days before he finally hanged up his boot at age 34.
Zidane would score a goal each in the semi-finals and the finals against Portugal and Italy respectively.
The Real Madrid coach was named the best player of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, despite being sent off for headbutting Materazzi during the extra-time of their 1-1 draw with Italy in the final. But the Azzuris won on penalties.
The world has seen several midfield greats such as Michel Platini, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, Steve Gerrard, but none of them was so dominant at the centre of park compared to Zinedine Zidane at both club and country.