On this day 22 years ago, Zinedine Zidane announced himself on the world stage in his debut match for France.
The 22 year old was in career high form for Ligue 1 club FC Girondins de Bordeaux. Zizou had earned his first international cap with France after six years in the youth squad.
The year was 1994 and France were in a state of crisis, after failing to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the US. Newly appointed manager Aimé Jacquet brought in Zidane as part of the Les Bleus rebirth.
Zizou didn’t disappoint on his debut, scoring a late brace to earn a come from behind draw against Czech Republic.
With five minutes remaining, France were starring down the barrel of another humiliating defeat. France needed a hero and Zidane stepped up to the plate. The midfielder danced around two defenders, before firing a rocket from 25 yards into the top corner. Zizou then went one better, scoring an equalising header two minutes later, and restoring the fans faith in the French team.
The rest is history, as Zidane went on to win a European Championship, World Cup and become ‘arguably’ the greatest player of all time.
We are unlikely to see anyone like Zizou ever again. He was a magician on the ball, possessing the trickery of Ronaldinho, the strike-power of Seedorf, and the vision of Pirlo all in one. Zizou is the complete player.
Who could ever forget the famous words that came from Blackburn Rovers chairman Jack Walker.
“Why do you want to sign Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?”