He has become a familiar sight at Real Madrid¹s press conferences before its Champions League matches: next to the Special One sits the Silent One, a former player whose list of honors rivals that of the coach (it includes a World Cup and European Championship success), and whose presence adds even more stardust to the Real Madrid name.
Here's one man's choice for Real Madrid's Team of the Decade, 2000-2010:
French footballing legend Zinedine Zidane has been appointed as "presidential advisor" to Real Madrid's first team, working alongside head coach Jose Mourinho.
One of Real Madrid's top officials has distanced the Spanish club from reports that it will launch a big-money January raid on Manchester United's prize asset Wayne Rooney.
DOHA, Qatar -- It was like that moment at the end of a courtroom drama when a decisive witness is unexpectedly called, dramatically turning the outcome of the case on its head. Suddenly, the mood changed completely; suddenly, the verdict did not seem quite so clear cut. As a piece of PR it was a masterstroke. As a reflection of the impact a single man can have it was hugely revealing; a case study in convincing. For all the technical, objective criteria, for all the logical thinking, personality can still persuasive. Especially if you chose the right personality.
What's the best word in sports? There's vigorous competition for the worst word in sports. When an Olympian wants to podium, I reach for the Imodium. I'm not a fan of batters plating base runners, either. (Plate, as a verb, belongs in restaurants, where you plate meals -- and crumb tables.) Thanks to announcers who can't say "tired," I suffer from fatigue fatigue.
World Cup winner Marcel Desailly tells CNN that with the new management in place France will come back stronger.
The world watched with awe and derision this past week as the French national soccer team, boasting a roster of star players, imploded on and off the field at the World Cup.
Many relief supplies are reaching Port-au-Prince's airport, but not its people. CNN's Sanjay Gupta reports.
Soccer stars Zinedine Zidane and Kaka will take part in a charity match to help raise funds for the the victims of the Haiti earthquake.
PLAYER OF THE DECADE: Zinedine Zidane, France Zizou gets our Player of the Decade nod, barely beating out Ronaldinho, who also won two World Player of the Year awards this decade but didn't have anything approaching Zidane's longevity at the top of the global game. No player since Diego Maradona has provided as much joy to viewers who love the artistry of soccer. Case in point: France's stunning upset of Brazil in the 2006 World Cup quarterfinals, in which Zidane rediscovered his mojo on the game's biggest stage. (Bonus points for scoring the greatest goal of the decade in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen.)
Brazilian legend Pele once called soccer the "beautiful game" and at its best it showcases the very pinnacle of human endeavor as nations and communities are united in the common goal of supporting their teams and heroes.
SI.com selects the best (and worst) sports movies, TV shows, books and blogs of the 2000s.
There's nothing like lobbing a simple little question into a group of foaming football fanatics.
From his football career to life after the game, Zinedine Zidane, a hero to millions, opened up, just a little, to CNN.
Soccer fans should not "dwell" on the hand ball committed by French player Thierry Henry, former teammate Zinedine Zidane said in his defense Saturday.
A footballing icon and one of the most gifted players of his generation, Zinedine Zidane won every major honor in the game.
An ill-tempered CONCACAF Gold Cup match between Mexico and Panama recently saw three players and Mexico coach Javier Aguirre sent off amid violent scenes in Houston, Texas.
Brazilian playmaker Kaka was officially presented as a Real Madrid player, after being handed the number eight jersey in front of thousands of supporters and a huge media contingent at the club's Bernabeu stadium on Tuesday evening.
CNN's Al Goodman reports why Real Madrid fans are so over the moon for their new superstar.
Michel Platini, the president of the governing body for European football (UEFA), has hit out at the large fee offered by Real Madrid for the Portugal playmaker Cristiano Ronaldo.
All goals count, so we're told. But some are more equal than others and this is a rundown of the best 11 of all time.
It's the classic "offer you can't refuse" -- the tipping point at which anything becomes possible. Manchester City's $145 million bid for Kaká is a shot into unknown territory. It roughly doubles the previous world-record transfer of $65 million, set 7½ years ago when Zinedine Zidane left Juventus for Real Madrid.
Passes, tackles, shots, saves, goals -- you go to a football match expecting to see these kind of things.
Zinedine Zidane is sure of the quality most necessary to create a successful team: mutual respect.
So Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or as European Footballer of the Year (though, in fact, it's a bit of a misnomer: Any professional in the world is now eligible). And, barring an Act of God, he'll win the FIFA World Player Award as well.
VIENNA, Austria -- OK, so I've tried my best. I've held my tongue throughout this tournament. But, the fact is, I've had it. I've had enough of people telling me that Miroslav Klose and Karim Benzema are overrated donkeys because they haven't had a good Euro 2008. Or that David Villa is now the best striker in Europe (heck, he's not even the best striker on his national team). Or that Andrei Arshavin is the second coming of Zinedine Zidane.
He's captain of Brazil, has a World Cup winner's medal and more than 60 international appearances to his credit. But even so, Gilberto Silva is surely one of the reasons that Arsenal is set to complete another season without silverware.
Adapted from Far Afield by S.L. Price. Copyright © 2007 by S.L. Price. Reprinted by permission of The Lyons Press. All rights reserved.
World Cup winners Italy, humbled 3-1 by Hungary in a friendly on Wednesday, will face France in next month's Euro 2008 qualifier without defender Marco Materazzi.
I don't know about you, I'm a little MLS-ed out. And I say that only as the overwhelmed editor of the SI.com soccer section; the fan side of me is still Major League Stoked. I honestly have never been this excited about our own American league.
1. Arizona speed-control cameras have caught Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart going over the legal limit four times this offseason, including three times in March alone. Coupled with Leinart's dalliances with the likes of Paris Hilton, authorities are charging him with being a cliché. (Fast cars, check ...)
French football legend Zinedine Zidane, whose career ended with an infamous head-butt in last year's World Cup final, will play a charity match in Thailand this weekend.
As 2006 draws to a close, we take a look back at the stories that have dominated headlines over the last 12 months.
Italy's World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro added another trophy to his haul on Monday when he was named 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year.
Italian World Cup-winning skipper Fabio Cannavaro, Brazilian ace Ronaldinho and former French captain Zinedine Zidane have been shortlisted for the prestigious FIFA world player of the year award.
Former France playmaker Zinedine Zidane, sent off in the World Cup final in Berlin, has been named on a 30-man shortlist for FIFA's World Player of the Year award.
Italy defender Marco Materazzi has broken his silence over the verbal exchange that led to his violent World Cup final clash with French star Zinedine Zidane.
Zinedine Zidane, the former France captain, and Italy defender Marco Materazzi have been fined and banned by FIFA for a head-butting incident during the World Cup final on July 9.
Italy defender Marco Materazzi traveled to Zurich on Friday to give evidence to FIFA in the investigation into Zinedine Zidane's headbutting dismissal in the World Cup final.
FIFA has launched disciplinary proceedings against Italy's World Cup-winning defender Marco Materazzi.
FIFA are to open a disciplinary investigation into the circumstances surrounding France captain Zinedine Zidane's head-butt on Marco Materazzi during the World Cup final.
Raymond Domenech will stay on as France coach after leading the country to the World Cup final.
Market Power Baby! Friday was a bit of a bloodbath yes, but now we are in earnings season and done with all this interest rate hooey!
He has been the greatest footballer of the modern era, gracing World Cups and Champions League finals in the colors of France, Real Madrid and Juventus for almost a decade.
Zinedine Zidane has been named the World Cup's outstanding player despite his sending off for headbutting an opponent in France's penalty shootout defeat by Italy in Sunday's final.
French President Jacques Chirac has hailed Zinedine Zidane as a "virtuoso, a genius of world football" despite his sending off in the World Cup final for head-butting an Italian player.
Italy won a penalty shootout 5-3 to lift the World Cup for the fourth time after French captain Zinedine Zidane was sensationally sent off near the end of the final that was tied 1-1 after extra time.
French stars Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry can propel France to World Cup glory over Italy Sunday evening said Les Bleus legend Michel Platini.
Zinedine Zidane's first-half penalty gave France a 1-0 win over Portugal to book a place in the World Cup final.
At the beginning of the tournament CNN asked you to vote for your all-time World Cup team in the Fan Zone Dream Team. Now we also want you to submit your team of the tournament for this World Cup.
France rolled back the years by producing a vintage performance to reach the semifinals of the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over holders Brazil.
France captain and playmaker Zinedine Zidane missed training on Thursday but should be fit to play Brazil in their World Cup quarter-final on Saturday, a team spokesman said.
Thirty-two teams arrived in Germany with the dream of lifting the World Cup. Now just eight remain, among them hosts Germany, defending champions Brazil and a host of former winners.
Two late goals from Patrick Vieira and Zinedine Zidane gave France a 3-1 win over Spain and a place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Hanover on Tuesday.
France | Midfielder
France skipper Zinedine Zidane lashed out at fans who "scandalously" jeered and whistled team-mates including goalkeeper Fabien Barthez during Saturday's 1-0 friendly win over Mexico.
Real Madrid lost 4-3 at Sevilla but still came second in the Primera Liga as Osasuna beat Valencia 2-1 to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their last games of the season on Tuesday.
France coach Raymond Domenech has included Marseille's Franck Ribery in his 23-man squad for the World Cup finals.
Zinedine Zidane scored in the 67th minute of his final home appearance for Real Madrid in a 3-3 draw with Villarreal in the Primera Liga.
Throughout the World Cup, CNN is compiling its own "Dream Team" of the greatest-ever players who have competed in the tournament.
Former World Cup and European championship winner Bixente Lizarazu has confirmed he will retire at the end of the season.
Group G | World ranking: 8
France and Real Madrid midfielder Zinedine Zidane said Tuesday he will retire after the World Cup in Germany.
Real Madrid midfielder Zinedine Zidane is set to announce his retirement after the World Cup finals, Spanish news reports claimed on Saturday.
France playmaker Zinedine Zidane has hinted that he could retire after next year's World Cup in Germany.
Brazil striker Ronaldo and France midfielder Zinedine Zidane are both included in Real Madrid's squad to face Getafe in the Primera Liga on Saturday.
France have named captain Zinedine Zidane and striker David Trezeguet in a 22-man squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers - although injured Thierry Henry has been left out.
Zinedine Zidane made a dream return to the French international line up as he scored their second goal in a 3-0 victory over the Ivory Coast in Montpellier.
Zinedine Zidane says he will play in the 2006 World Cup finals should France qualify for the tournament in Germany.
French great Zinedine Zidane says he decided to make his international comeback after rediscovering his lost motivation.
Zinedine Zidane is coming out of international retirement and will help France try to qualify for next year's World Cup finals, the midfielder said on Wednesday.
Real Madrid beat the Thai national team 3-0 in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 30,000 at Bangkok's Rajmangala Stadium, as they completed their pre-season tour.
Real Madrid injected new life into the Spanish title race with a scintillating 4-2 home triumph against league leaders and arch-rivals Barcelona on Sunday.
Ivan Helguera gave a dominant Real Madrid a slender 1-0 win over Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League knockout tie at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.
Real Madrid sensationally crashed out of the Spanish Cup with a 1-1 draw at home to second-division Valladolid in a dull third-round second leg.
Vanderlei Luxemburgo made a spectacular debut as coach of Real Madrid on Wednesday, leading his team to a 2-1 win over Real Sociedad in less than seven minutes.
An injury-time goal from Zinedine Zidane gave Real Madrid a 3-2 victory over Racing Santander to rekindle their hopes of challenging Spanish leaders Barcelona.
England and Manchester United teenage sensation Wayne Rooney has made it on to the 35-strong 'shortlist' for FIFA's 2004 Player of the Year award.
Real Madrid coach Mariano Garcia Remon has confirmed that Frenchman Zinedine Zidane will return to the starting line-up for Tuesday's Champions League Group B clash with Roma.
France playmaker Zinedine Zidane announced on Thursday that he was ending his international career after a 10-year spell with Les Bleus.
A place in the money-spinning Champions League beckons for Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United when the third and final qualifying round starts this week.
Zinedine Zidane says he will decide whether to carry on playing for France before their opening 2006 World Cup qualifier against Israel in Paris on September 4.
Zinedine Zidane limped off with a foot injury as Real Madrid ended their Japan tour with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Tokyo Verdy on Sunday.
Real Madrid's promotional tour of Japan got off to a worrying start on Wednesday when Brazilian striker Ronaldo limped out of a training session.
Thierry Henry scored two late goals as defending champion France reached the Euro 2004 quarterfinals after a 3-1 win over Switzerland to finish top of Group B.
Two injury time goals from Zinedine Zidane gave tournament favorites France a dramatic late 2-1 victory over England in Lisbon.
Zinedine Zidane was sent off as Real Madrid crashed to a demoralising 2-0 defeat at Deportivo La Coruna in the Spanish Primera Liga on Saturday.
Zinedine Zidane of France has been voted the best European footballer of the last 50 years by fans, UEFA said at a Golden Jubilee ceremony on Thursday.
France playmaker Zinedine Zidane has pulled out of their friendly international against the Netherlands in Rotterdam on Wednesday with a groin injury.
Real Madrid recovered from a goal down to claim a convincing 4-2 win over Monaco in a pulsating Champions League quarterfinal, first leg at the Bernabeu.
Zinedine Zidane hit the only goal as Real Madrid made the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the seventh straight year, beating old rivals Bayern Munich.
Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of the Spanish Liga to eight points with a 4-2 win over struggling Celta Vigo.
Real Madrid star Zinedine Zidane has failed in his appeals against a one-match ban after being sent off in midweek and misses their top of the table clash with Valencia on Sunday.
Real Madrid scrambled through to the final of the King's Cup with a 2-1 aggregate victory over Sevilla, despite having Zinedine Zidane sent off.
Zinedine Zidane is keen to extend his contract with Real Madrid for an extra year and complete his playing career with the Spanish champions in 2006.
Spanish champions Real Madrid dominate UEFA's team of the year, voted for by users of the European governing body's Web site.
Zinedine Zidane failed to attend an Italian court on Monday where he had been summoned to give evidence in the trial of two Juventus officials accused of administering banned substances to players.
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