Zinedine Zidane: Highlights from 2006 World Cup display for France vs Brazil go viral

Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane was far from your typical footballer and he proved as much when he bowed out of the game during the 2006 World Cup.

The France legend's final act as a player remains one of the most infamous moments in footballing history.

With just ten minutes remaining on the clock in extra-time of a tense World Cup final, the French captain was rightly given his marching orders under incredible circumstances following a staggering headbutt on Marco Materazzi.

Zidane's absence of composure was his last contribution to a tournament in which he'd played with the exuberance of an up-and-coming talent rather than a veteran performing his last dance on the elite stage. 

If there was one game that best solidified his status as one of the all-time greats, it was the quarter-final encounter with Brazil. 

The reigning world champions boasted a plethora of world-class talents, including the infectiously charming pairing of Ronaldinho and Ronaldo. 

But in the presence of Zidane the Brazilians were thoroughly outclassed as supporters were treated to one of the most captivating individual displays in the history of the competition. 


Those that were lucky enough to be in attendance at the Deutsche Bank Park will remember how Zidane managed to stand out on a pitch laden with superstars.

It's also a game that remains etched into the consciousness of supporters worldwide, such was the magnitude of the performance, so much so that a highlights reel of the playmaker's best moments has now surfaced on Twitter.

Indeed, earlier this week a compilation featuring snippets Zidane's most awe-inspiring moments from the game, including an excellent free-kick to provide Thierry Henry with the only goal, went viral on social media.

Zidane, clearly relishing the occasion, pirouettes away from two Brazil players inside the first 40 seconds of the video before gliding past another with a stepover and a drop of the shoulder. 

The tone was set and he didn't look back from that moment on, displaying the full extent of his dazzling repertoire in a performance that begged one pervading question: why retire when you're still up there with the very best? 

In the commentary box a besotted Clive Tyldesley makes a straightforward request to the one-time Ballon d'Or winner: "please don't give up the game".

You can watch the best bits from Zidane's ethereal display across two clips below...

And here's how admirers on Twitter reacted to the videos, with one fan going as far to suggest that this may have been the greatest display in World Cup history. 

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They just don't make footballers like Zidane anymore. 

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