Was going through the archives and stumbled at what football minds and greats alike, managers, legends, and other respected sports personalities, have said about the man one described as ‘Saint Theresa’ because of his smiles; some have tagged him le professor, and some apari (The Bald).
However, whatever you chose to call him, Zizou is Zizou, a phenomenon that has come to resonate with excellence.
Zizou: What They Said
David Beckham: “To me, Zidane is the best player ever.”
Maradona: “We don’t like Zizou because of what he has won. We like Zizou because of the way he plays the game. He makes the game look beautiful. Football earns profit from Zidane.”
Ronaldinho: “He is the best player ever, one of my idols. He was a pleasure to watch. He had such elegance, such grace while touching the ball. I have always let my self inspired by Zidane.”
Thierry Henry: “In France, everybody realized that God exists and that he is back in the French international team. God is back, there is little left to say.”
Pele: “He is quite simply the master of the game. I place Zidane in the top 5 players ever. In the last 10 years, there have not been any other player like him. Zidane was the wizard of the match, the only difference between France and Brazil.”
Edgar Davids: He thinks in one second and does it the next. He is a special player, one who is original and exceptional. He creates space where there is none. Only the very best players can do that. No matter where he gets the ball or how it comes to him, Zidane can get out of trouble. His imagination and his technique are amazing.
Michael Platini: “Zidane was the midfielder par excellence. He was the King of basics, King of control, the king of passing. He had an exceptional basics.”
Roberto Carlos: “Zidane is the best player ever. He is the professor of football. I’ve learned a lot from him.”
Sir Alex Ferguson: “Give me 10 pieces of wood, Zinedine Zidane and I’ll win the Champions League.”
Kevin Keegan: “You look at Zidane and think ‘I’ve never seen a player quite like that’. Diego Maradona was a great player. Johan Cruyff was a great player. They were different – but with similarities. What sets Zidane apart is the way he manipulates a football, buying himself space that isn’t there. Add his vision and it makes him very special
Arsene Wenger on Zizou’s retirement “I’ve seen him make his debut with AS Cannas. It is the end of a beautiful era.”
Rivaldo: I really enjoy watching Zinedine Zidane. His elegance of movement on the pitch and his skills are uncanny. Apart from being an impressive player, he is also very humble and very likable as a person. A great man.
Fabien Barthez: “Zidane is the player of the century.”
Marcello Lippi: “I think Zidane is the football’s biggest talent of last 20 years.”
Bizente Lixarazu: “Zidane has been a heavyweight in football for about 20 years. He has become an idol and spokesperson for young North Americans.”
Gattusso: “Playing against Zidane you barely get one chance. The problem about playing with Zidane is a bit like playing (Bunto), A game in which you see the ball, you don’t see it anymore, you see the ball and again you didn’t see it anymore.”
Marcel Desailly: “Zidane has shaped the history of football. He has illuminated football. There is no other player with his capacity of touching the ball, changing the direction of a match. It is simple because it is Zizou. There will never be another Zizou. Zizou is Zizou.”
Laurent Blanc: “Zidane is the epitome of frankness, honesty, and maturity. He is totally different from a player, he is LUCK.”
Jean Louis Morat “Nobody knows if Zidane is an angel or demon. He smiles like Saint Terressa and grimaces like a serial killer.”
Magic Johnson (Basketball player) “Zidane is as magical as me and Michael Jordan put together”
Alfredo Di Stefano: He dominates the ball, he is a walking spectacle and he plays as if he had silk gloves on each foot. He reminds me a bit of myself, although I was a bit quicker. He makes it worthwhile going to the stadium — he’s one of the best I have ever seen.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Zidane was from another planet. When Zidane stepped onto the pitch, the 10 other guys just got suddenly better. It is that simple.
Xabi Alonso: What he could do with a football is a dream for most of us.
Marco Materazzi: Zidane has won that award because of what he has done on the pitch – he was the best … I have always admired Zidane … In fact, I have one of his shirts in my closet – we exchanged our shirts after a Juventus v Perugia game.
Lionel Messi: “I don’t ask for shirts, I usually swap them, but I asked Zidane once.
What do you say?