Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Zidane: I was happier playing football

SoccerNews in Serie A 22 Jun 2012

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France legend Zinedine Zidane has confessed he has found the adjustment to retirement difficult since he left behind the professional game.

The former Bordeaux, Juventus and Real Madrid star played his last game in the 2006 World Cup final, which ended in infamy when he was sent off for head-butting Marco Materazzi during a match France lost on penalties.

He is now the sporting director at Real Madrid, a position he has held since July 2011.

In a frank interview with Le Monde, however, Zidane admitted the happiest days of his life occurred with the ball at his feet.

“If you ask me if I am as happy in my current life as I was in my previous one, the answer is no. Of course I was happier on the pitch,” he said.

“It was my dream life and now I lead a totally different one. The happiness is therefore also different.”

The Euro 2000 winner celebrates his 40th birthday on Saturday, the same day Spain and France meet in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.

Asked about the upcoming clash, Zidane was reluctant to comment, but signalled that Spain had the edge on his nation.

“(I see) Spain as the favourites, but anything can happen in a single game,” he said.

Zidane made a total of 108 appearances for France, scoring 31 times.

As well as helping France win Euro 2000, he was also instrumental in helping his country to their first ever World Cup triumph in 1998.

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