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9th July - the start and end of Zidane's best years

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 2,013

Pin 9th July has proven to be a memorable date for Zinedine Zidane. AFP
9th July has proven to be a memorable date for Zinedine Zidane. AFP

9th July - the start and end of Zidane's best years

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 2,013

Two key dates in the career of Zinedine Zidane have their anniversaries today. On 9th July 2001, the Frenchman was presented as a Real Madrid player. Five years later on this very day, he headbutted Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup final in what would prove to be the final game in his career.

On the same day that Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid side set off for their pre-season tour of Canada, the French manager will look back at two defining moments in his career that took place on this very day: his presentation as a Real Madrid player and his headbutt on Marco Materazzi.

On this day in 2001, a 29 year-old Zidane became the second 'galactico' signing of Florentino Pérez's mandate as president after Luis Figo, signing for 72 million Euros from Juventus. 

Zidane found his feet quickly at the Bernabéu, scoring his iconic volley in the Champions League final in Glasgow that very season. He would go on to score 12 times during his first season at Madrid, which was his best tally as a professional, and became a real fan favourite over the next four seasons he spent in the Spanish capital.

He would leave the club after his contract finished in 2006, announcing that his intention was to retire after the World Cup that summer. Zidane shone at the World Cup in Germany, leading a French side to the World Cup final with excellent performances against Spain and Brazil on the way.

In the final, France met Italy in what turned out to be a feisty and memorable clash. Zidane opened the scoring with a penalty, before being sent off later on after headbutting Materazzi in the middle of the pitch. It was the last memory of Zidane on a football pitch, and one that he still struggles to watch back all these years later.

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