Zinedine Zidane’s filthy first touch vs Denmark in 2001

There are few greater joys in life than watching highlights of Zinedine Zidane in his pomp.

The French superstar was easily one of the greatest players to kick a ball about, possessing an other-worldly grace and balletic guile that was simply unplayable at times.

There has never been a better ‘puller-of-the-strings’ and, if you don’t believe us, just have a gander on Youtube at some of his incredible compilations.

He had a vicious eye for a finish and a vision that suggested he had more than just the two eyes like us mere mortals.

Only one man would ever have the gumption to even think of attempting a Panenka penalty in a World Cup final and that man is Zidane.

However, while he was always king of the headline moments like assists and goals, Zidane’s majestic first touch was his true party piece.

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Time after time Zidane would leave fans and opponents in awe of his ability to kill a ball completely dead or, with one flick of his magician’s boot, change the entire direction and pace of play.

One of his better first touches came in a clash with Denmark after Fabien Barthez launched a rocket of a throw his way from the back.

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Now, for any old chap, Barthez’s chuck would’ve proven too tall an order but not for Zidane.

Not only did he control it on the half-volley, but his supreme one touch turn sent an opposing defender right back down the tunnel and off to the shops.

You can see the remarkable moment below:

Unbelievable – how does he make it look so easy?

Of course, Zidane’s career in the French shirt would end in infamy at the 2006 World Cup but, thankfully, the sheer weight of incredible moments that preceded that night have become what he is remembered for.

You could always add his unprecedented success as manager of Real Madrid in there if you truly want to ram home the view that he has completed football, but we think you get the picture by now.


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