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Zinedine Zidane at Esquire

April 28, 2012
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I think we all need to heal a bit, and what better way to do so than with elegance and class (both this post and next)?

Zinedine Zidane makes an appearance in the May issue of Esquire España (the same interview more or less previously appeared in another edition, I believe it’s the Middle East edition but I’m not sure).  And of course, he says many interesting things, and looks fantastic while doing so!

I have an affinity with the Arabic world.  It’s something that’s in my blood, that I inherited from my parents.  I’m very proud of being French, but I’m also proud that these roots give me a very enriching diversity.

Diversity is a great advantage for any family.  Children who have parents of different nationalities speak different languages and have a more open mind since they are in contact with different cultures from the time they are young.  At least that’s what happened with my children.  My children will speak more than one language.

My father taught me everything I know but most of all he taught me the value of respect.  He came from Algeria to France and for him it was a shock, it was difficult for him to adjust to a new culture, to find a job and prove himself.  You have to do twice as much as others to get their respect and at the same time you have to show the same respect for others, including during the worst moments.  I will pass this on to my children.

I had a strict upbringing but now I am conscious that this discipline has saved me in the most complicated moments of my life.  My father was a big guiding light and I tried to apply this in my career.  Maybe a little too much.

I enjoyed playing on the street as a child and I enjoyed playing at the top.  But when you become a professional, the higher you get in your career, the less you have of the original spirit that led you to love this sport.  It becomes something different.  Playing football becomes a job.

The World Cup coming to an Arab country in 2022 is good for everyone.  There are 400 million people in that area today, and there will be 700 million in 2022 and it’s somewhere that has never held the World Cup.  I’m completely sure that Qatar will show that it’s up to hosting this World Cup.

It’s Maradona’s choice if he wants to criticize FIFA [over allegations of corruption] but I believe there are more appropriate ways to do that.  We should rely on the law and the experts.

Maybe one day I’ll become a manager, but I still have a long way to go before I can think seriously about it.  To begin, I need the license (laughs).  I want to take my time, I want to make sure that it’s the road that I want to take.  What’s true is that it’s an option I always have in mind when I think about the future.

Courage is the key to be able to achieve the goals that your ambition sets.  Life is a toboggan, and sometimes it seems that everything goes forward without you making any effort, and other times it’s all uphill and that’s when you need courage the most.

When I retired, there weren’t so many great players.  Right now, it’s impressive how many stars there are with uncommon talent.  Ronaldo and Messi could be above everyone else but the average level is really amazing.

It doesn’t hurt me at all that Barcelona has played at an impressive level during the last few seasons, it’s good for football in general.  What I can’t deny is that I would like for Real Madrid to finish off the progression it has made in the last two years to return to its position among the privileged.

I know it’s contrary to what is usually said, but for me Barcelona is only a team and Real Madrid is something more, it’s the most important club in the world.  Without a doubt.

If I’m sincere, I believe the Real Madrid I played on would have beaten this Barcelona.  But what I’m sure of is that they would have been some fantastic games.

I really enjoy playing futsal, it’s more technical and you have lots more different possibilities to play with the ball, to do some surprising tricks that you can’t do in studs.

I’m a different man on the pitch than I am off it.  I believe everyone is.

If you look at the 14 red cards I had throughout my career, you’ll realize that 12 of them were the direct result of provocation.  I’m not saying that this is something I’m proud of nor can I justify my reactions in those moments, but it was my passion and my temper that led me to act in that way.

In my life, I’ve always tried to act as a conciliator in all aspects of my life.  I’ve never tried to anger or to provoke anyone.  That’s why I believe that when someone does the same to me, it has double the effect, it builds up.  Then it explodes.

Being a father has given me a much wider perspective on life.  It isn’t just about the responsibility of teaching your children, it’s about looking at yourself to know what you’re capable of giving them.  You should forget the egotistical life that you had, where you were the center of your universe, to reveal a new existence where you should dedicate all your energy to helping others develop.  It’s something almost magical, unreal until you live it.

It’s harder to raise a child than to play football.  There’s no possible comparison.

Watch the making of video here.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2012 18:36

    *sighssssss* He’s just so amazing. While being incredibly hot and sexy to boot.

  2. eruhin permalink
    April 28, 2012 21:41

    Love the quote you highlighted! So true.

  3. April 29, 2012 02:18

    Healing time it is.

    Like Zidane, i do believe his Real Madrid can beat the FCB of today. :))The current team is great and I love them but they really need more time to be together. It takes years to build a certain dynamic. I really hope that they stay together and strengthen their weaknesses instead of putting new people in. Unless they’re from the Castilla.

    Thanks Una for Zizou!

  4. Nakita permalink
    April 29, 2012 16:01

    Pure. Class.

  5. April 30, 2012 16:02

    Gotta love Zizou! Man I miss him!

  6. Sune permalink
    April 30, 2012 20:11

    What a legend! Love his quotes! He speak like a REAL Madridista!!!

  7. Marion permalink
    May 1, 2012 13:41

    I am going to be seriously mad at Mourinho if he really, like the press reports, will try to kick him out. This man is one of the biggest Madridistas out there. He supports this club with every fibre of his body and spoke up every time Mourinho and the boys did crap to defend them!!! Not to mention he’s a walking god to most players and football fans out there. What kind of message is it that a new coach, who in reality has nothing to do with Madrid, will kick out the second legend out of the club just because…because….? What will he do next? Get rid of Alfredo di Stefano?? I respect Mourinho A LOT as a coach. But his apparently never ending power at Madrid scares me. Especially when it involves a guy who HE freakin’ wanted to work for him in the first place and who has always publicly supported him and this team!!

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