Opinion: Zidane’s 5 Minutes Of Soccer ‘’Madness” In Portugal

Zidane's magic at Euro 2004
Zinedine Zidane

If madness is a psychological disorder used to address a situation in which a  person has lost his or her sense of reasoning, and students of English Language also have the academic right to use it to address any situation that is amazing, then, Zidane’s last five minutes of magical performance in the Euro 2004  group opener, involving his country, France, and England, their opponent, was indeed ‘’madness’’, since any other word of description will be an understatement.

Zidane was born on the twenty-third of June, 1972, in Marseille, France. “Zizou”, as he is affectionately called, was born to Algerian immigrants. He made his first professional appearance for Canes at the age of seventeen, scoring a goal on his debut.

The editors of Biography.com credited him with the attitude of quick temper and went on to define his ability to control the ball with his feet, seemingly knowing when to manoeuvre through the defence and find a teammate with a pinpoint pass or rocket a shot at goal as his quality.

“A diligent hawker today, can be a great tycoon tomorrow”. This was the story of Zidane when no one knew him, yet still through hard work, went on to achieve great levels of success, and these are his achievements.

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He won the FIFA world best player award on three occasions (1998,2000,2003), he was the Ligue 1 player of the year (1996), Uefa super cup winner with Juventus in 1996 and Real Madrid in  2002. Other achievements are; Italian super cup winner with Juventus (1997 and 1998), Spanish super cup winner with Real Madrid (2002), Uefa Champions League winner with Real Madrid (2002), Uefa  European Championship winner with France (2000) and World Cup winner with France  (1998).

“Many a good beginning makes a bad ending” a popular quote by American writer, Laura Ingalls Wilder, comes to mind, when the Euro 2004 Group B opener is historically visited once again, as the English started their first half with laughter only to see their full time end in tears.

Estadio da luz (the light stadium) on the thirteenth of June, 2004, in attendance of sixty-two thousand, four hundred and eighty-seven soccer lovers hosted Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Three Lions of England and Jacques Santini’s “Les Bleus” of France.

It was the English who ended the first half with their noses in front after Lampard headed home a thirty-eighth-minute free-kick from his skipper, David Beckham. The English started the second half on the high but failed to score a seventy-third-minute penalty through their skipper.

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The penalty was saved by the French goalie, Fabien Barthez, after the revelation of the tournament, Wayne Rooney was brought down by Mikael Silvestre in the box. After ninety minutes, it was England up by a goal to nothing, and guess what? After the substitution board showed five minutes of added time, this began the Zidane soccer “ madness”.

On the ninety-first minute, he scored a free-kick and converted a ninety-third-minute penalty, which ended up becoming the match-winner.

In conclusion, football has given its followers a lot to cheer about, but this unthinkable showdown by Zinedine Zidane was remarkable and will forever be in the hearts and minds of those who were privileged to see it.

Writer: Nyarko-Boateng Emmanuel(Exequiel Paulo Dybala)

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