10 things you do not know (yet) about Zinedine Zidane

You thought you knew everything about Zinedine Zidane? The star, however, hides things that we never talk about or almost.

1 / A genetic disease that weakens it

This is a little known information about Zinedine Zidane: the former number 10 of the Blues is suffering from thalassemia, a disease discovered at the time he was playing in Madrid, which affects the red blood cells and generates difficulty to carry oxygen in the body. Not enough to be alarmed! The harm is benign in the case of « Zizou » and if he was able to play on his tiredness at times, he never prevented him from playing high-level sport and living normally.

2 / A « small » coaching salary in its infancy

As a player, Zinedine Zidane was one of the highest paid footballers in the world with more than 6 million euros a year. As assistant coach of Carlo Ancelotti, during the 2013-2014 season, then as coach of the reserve of the club of Madrid, his salary had dropped significantly. The Spanish newspaper Marca revealed in January 2014 that Zidane received 600,000 euros gross per year.

When he became head coach of Real Madrid’s first team, Zidane saw his salary increase, but not to a disproportionate extent. According to Eduardo Inda, a columnist on the Spanish TV show El Chiringuito, he received about 2.5 million net euros per season, half of what Rafael Benitez, his predecessor, was doing.

3 / Who is Veronique Fernandez, Zidane’s wife?

Zinedine Zidane met Véronique Fernandez in Cannes at the age of 17, in 1989. The two lovebirds then live in the same place, in a young workers’ home, she is at the training center, she is a student in biology and dancer. They get married a few years later, in 1994, in Bordeaux. They have since given birth to four boys.

The couple therefore appears as a model of stability and Veronique’s opinion is largely taken into account by Zizou. For example, he says that the young woman, of Spanish descent, would have had a dominating weight in Zidane’s decision to leave Juventus for Real Madrid in 2001.

4 / Zidane could have played for Algeria

Zinedine Yazid Zidane was born to Algerian parents from Kabylie. His father, Smaïl, arrived in France in 1953 and met Malika. The couple then married and settled in Marseille.

Zinedine thus has the dual French-Algerian nationality and could, thanks to this passport, choose to play with the « Fennecs », the nickname of the players of the national team of Algeria. But Zidane was born in France, grew up in the Hexagon and therefore found it more logical to evolve in the blue jersey. Given his record, he does not regret this choice today!

5 / Zidane and the cigarette

In 2006, the day before the semi-final of the World Cup against Portugal, a photo showed Zidane smoking a cigarette after a meal with his teammates.

A surprising attitude for a high level footballer! But it was not an isolated case in France team. In the documentary « Eyes in the Blues », retracing the career of the team of France at the 1998 World Cup, we also saw Laurent Blanc cigarette in his mouth, and Fabien Barthez crushing his butt in a bathroom sink.

6 / Why does Zidane support Qatar?

Zinedine Zidane has chosen to support the Qatar Football Federation, which has been designated to host the World Cup in 2022, among the many solicitations it seeks. A purely financial choice for many observers since the sum of € 11 million was raised to quantify Zidane’s remuneration for this project. Zizou retorted, in an interview with L’Equipe in 2011, that he had not touched « a quarter of this amount » and that he saw especially the way to support the Arab world, too often criticized. It is also a way for him to thank the country that had offered him, in vain, to come to play in Qatar at the end of his career. Zidane had promised one day to help them. It is done.

7 / When Zidane hit Desailly

The strength of the French football team in 1998 was undoubtedly his state of mind, beyond the talent of some players. But that was not always the big deal between Zidane and his teammates.

In a video circulating on the Internet, we see Zinedine Zidane and Marcel Desailly come to blows, violently, during a match between Bordeaux and Marseille in 1993. An incident that dates back more than 20 years and which did not stop the two men from then becoming teammates and good friends in the blue jersey.

8 / Zidane and doping

According to Dr. Jean-Pierre Paclet, doctor of the French football team between 2004 and 2008, the Blues have reached the final of the World Cup 2010 with only vitamins. This is what he says in his book « Implosion », published in 2010.

But about the 1998-2000 period, Paclet explains that the hematocrit levels of some players, especially Zidane and Deschamps, were abnormal. Nevertheless, it has never been proven that these blood results were certainly from doping products …

9 / Siblings at the heart of the Zidane project

Zinedine Zidane has three brothers (Majid, Farid, Nourredine) and a sister (Lila). If Majid, the eldest, is discreet enough in the activities of his brother, the other three participate more or less actively in the company Zidane Diffusion, responsible for managing the interests of the former playmaker of the Blues. Lila was also, despite herself, at the heart of the controversy of the famous coup de boule addressed by Zidane to Materrazi in 2006.

Nourredine, who also failed to become a professional footballer, was for a long time the main adviser to his brother Zinedine, taking charge of relations with the press and sponsors.

10 / Former shareholder of Evian and … Rodez

After his football career, Zidane decided to invest money in clubs. But not necessarily in those we expected. It’s not Cannes, its training club, or Bordeaux, that Zidane decided to help but … Evian Thonon Gaillard and Rodez!

For the first, it is the fruit of his friendship with Franck Riboud, the CEO of Danone, also shareholder of the ETG club even if he finally sold his shares in 2014. For the second, it is about Zidane’s favorite spot for his wife Véronique’s home region. Everything is explained…

11 / His children, Enzo, Luca and the others

We hear more and more about children Zinedine Zidane, especially Enzo (born in 1995), the eldest, since 2014. He was indeed called in the team of France in the youth and everyone is wondering if he will walk one day in the footsteps of his father.

The couple Zidane had three other boys: Luca (1998), Théo (2002), and Elyaz (2005). Note that, like Enzo before them, Luca and Theo evolve in the Real Madrid teams. The first is guardian, the second is attacking. We have probably not finished hearing Zidane’s name on the football fields!

12 / Enzo Francescoli, the idol

Zinedine Zidane has become, over the course of his playing career, the idol of millions of football fans. But he too, when he was a kid, had eyes that shone when he saw a football player evolve: the Uruguayan Enzo Francescoli, passed by Olympique Marseille in the late 1990s.

Offensive midfielder, like his model, Zidane himself says he has « piqued » many technical gestures to Francescoli. An admiration that goes very far since it was to give his name to the first of his sons, Enzo Zidane.

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