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Zinédine Zidane: Three missed opportunities for Africa

Zinédine Zidane.
Zinédine Zidane: Three missed opportunities for Africa

Zinédine Zidane is celebrating his 50th birthday today. The former French international and former Real Madrid coach has had many moments in his career. However, some appointments with Africa never took place.

Zidane, Algeria's biggest regret
Zinédine Zidane was born in Marseille half a century ago. But his parents were born in Kabylie, Algeria. The former Les Bleus number 10 could therefore have played for Algeria. Of all the binationals who could have worn the Fennecs jersey, the playmaker will undoubtedly be the biggest regret. Even if the player himself had declared that he had never been selected with Algeria, in response to rumours. "I played in all the categories in the French team, from the juniors to the seniors

However, Zidane has not forgotten his origins. In 2006, the thousands of Algerians who welcomed him on 11 December will no doubt never forget that day. Like a hero, the man who had just retired five months earlier was cheered from all sides. In 2021, after the fires in Algeria, the former Real player donated €2 million to help the victims.

France vs Senegal 2002
France, the reigning world champions (1998) and European champions (2000), went into the 2002 World Cup as the scarecrow. But the adventure was to be short-lived. It was the first time that the French team lost to Senegal (0-1). Zinédine Zidane was injured and did not take part in the match.

His absence galvanized the Senegalese. "When we saw Zidane on the bench, we immediately laughed. It's destiny. We saw that he wasn't playing and we laughed because Zidane was an asset to the French team. He was the technical leader who made the French team win matches, so if he doesn't play against us, we're happy," said Alassane Ndour, Senegalese defender, in 2020.

Would have loved to play with Yaya Toure
In 2014, Zinedine Zidane played the famous "dream team" game. While he has played with the greatest players in the world (Beckham, Raul, Ronaldo, Henry...). However, in revealing his dream 11, ZZ confided that he regretted not having played with the Ivorian Yaya Toure. The former Barcelona and Manchester City man is in his dream team.

"He's the player par excellence, he's the one who creates the gaps, who creates incredible differences," Zidane told Canal Plus. Yaya Touré must have appreciated that. I'm sure he would have liked that, especially as a Zidane-Toure partnership would have been a good one.

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