Zinedine Zidane’s career was adorned with numerous remarkable performances, and one of the most legendary displays occurred during France’s quarter-final clash against Brazil in the 2006 World Cup.
Despite Brazil boasting a formidable lineup featuring renowned figures such as Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos, Kaka, and Cafu, it was a 34-year-old Zidane who stole the show.
Zidane’s performance in the match was nothing short of extraordinary. He completely outshone Brazil’s players, leaving them unable to contend with his dominance on the field.
The sole goal of the game was scored by Thierry Henry, who expertly converted a free-kick delivered by Zidane, sealing an unforgettable victory for France.
Notably, Zidane later revealed that he had played the match while carrying an injury, further adding to the awe-inspiring nature of his performance.
View Zidane’s incredible individual highlights from the match below…
01/07/06 – World Cup Quarter-Finals
Zidane vs Brazil 🎨pic.twitter.com/eGe7hD5rnm
— Stop That Zizou (@StopThatZizou) July 1, 2023
Zinedine Zidane revealed he was injured during France vs Brazil at 2006 World Cup
In an interview with L’Equipe to celebrate his 50th birthdayin 2022, the legendary footballer revealed he was in fact injured during his masterclass.
He said: “I actually hurt myself against Spain (in the round of 16). I hurt myself by scoring the third goal at the end of the game. I had a lump on my thigh. Almost no one knew.
“I took exams. They told me that I’m not playing against Brazil… I say: ‘What? It’s out of the question that I can’t play against Brazil!’
“The medical staff did everything for me to play because I absolutely wanted to play this game. And I played!
“Every game could be my last. I had that in my head so much that it was impossible for me not to play against Brazil. I wanted to enjoy every second.”
Imagine producing such a performance when not even fully fit. That only emphasises how great his display was.
It remains one of the very best in World Cup history.
Zinedine Zidane’s illustrious professional football career concluded on a disappointing note a few weeks later
France eventually made it to the final but it didn’t end well for Zidane as he was sent off in extra-time after head-butting Italy defender Marco Materazzi.
Zidane opened up about why he acted in such a manner.
“The headbutt? Materazzi insulted my sister, who was with my tired Mom at the time. He triggered something in me by talking about my sister,”he said, per The Madrid Zone.
He recently told Telefoot, per football-italia:“I’m not at all proud of what I did but it’s part of it’s part of my past.”
That proved to be his last act as a professional footballer. What a way to go out.